As of late sleep has been associated with the improvement of health all across the board from athletic performance, overall improvement in health, lifestyle and now it has been linked to an improved sex life as well. This true for both men and women but for differing reasons. The effects of lack of sleep are probably more detrimental to you the health of your sex life as well.
Why is lack of sleep bad for men? Multiple studies have been performed in regards to sexual health, and the vast majority of these studies tell us that lack of sleep negatively affects sexual performance, drive and stamina. One study in particular done by Journal of American Medical Association(JAMA) showed that participants who received less than 5 hours a night had their testosterone levels drop dramatically, on average to that of someone 15 years their senior. This study shows that a lack of sleep even over a short period of time like in this case one week, can disrupt endocrine function. This means that in as little time as a week a man’s sexual drive, and stamina will decrease significantly as a result of this drop in testosterone levels.
Women were found to experience similar negative effects to their sex lives as a result of sleep deprivation as well. Just a loss of one hour of sleep over just the course of two weeks will reduce vaginal arousal in women, as well as sexual drive. Testosterone levels in women were down as well. This may seem like a good thing, in that women don’t want high levels of testosterone, however it is a negative for women as well. In both men and women, testosterone is involved in the process of vasodilation, or the opening of blood vessels. This is an important process when it comes to performance in men as many people are aware, but it benefits women as well in that it increases blood flow to where it is needed. This means a better functioning heart, circulatory system and better overall health. Having a healthier heart and circulatory system will not only make you have more stamina and increase performance, but will make you feel better as well increasing libido.
So now that we understand how important sleep is to our sex lives and why; how do we solve the issues of lack of sleep and poor sleep habits? Thankfully there are many different methods that we can use to fix these issues so if one does not work for you, don’t worry there are plenty of other options out there. Here are a few to consider:
First and foremost you need to determine how much sleep you need to function properly. This could mean 7 hours on the low end, up to 10 hours for some people. Determining what works for you is going to take some trial and error, but if you maintained regular sleeping habits at some point over the course of your life you should have a general idea of what that is.
After figuring out how much sleep you need, the second step would be getting on a regular sleep schedule. This means going to bed at the same time at night, and waking up in the morning at the same time regularly. What this does is allows your body to adjust accordingly and work more efficiently by being on a schedule. The idea behind this is that humans like virtually every other organism have a biological clock that works on a 24 hour schedule. This clock mechanism is regulated by the brain, and is what we use to regulate tasks. We are designed to work on the same schedule on a consistent basis, so it is in our best interests to do in order to function in a better capacity.
One major issue that many people stumble across is the inability to fall asleep at the same time every night. The reasoning behind this can be the result of many factors. Some people simply have too much energy at the end of the day. If this is you, having sex before bed is a good idea considering that after sex our endocrine system secretes chemicals that promote sleep, so this may be a viable solution. Another solution is to try to reset your clock so to speak. If you are unhappy with the times your body is comfortable waking up and going to bed, this may be a viable solution for you. This method involves staying up for 24 hours and “resetting your clock” or going to sleep the following night at the time you wish to do so regularly. For example a person who regularly goes to sleep at 12 a.m. but need to be in bed by 10 p.m. for a full night’s sleep would stay up passed 12 a.m., not sleeping until 10 p.m. the following night. This method is best used on the weekends or days you do not work so that you don’t attempt to work a day on no sleep. Driving or operating heavy machinery on no sleep is highly inadvisable as well so please use this method with discretion.
Turning off electronic devices including TV, phone, computer, tablets etc. is also another viable method to help fall asleep more quickly. Through research and technology we have discovered as of late that certain wavelengths of light disrupt sleep and tell our brains to stay awake. Blue light in particular is one reason why some electronic devices trigger our brains to keep us awake. This light is emitted through electronic devices so it is advisable that they be turned off at least an hour, preferably two hours before going to bed. In addition to the light emitted, the distraction of these devices via image and light also influence the brain to stay awake. All of these things can negatively impact sleeping duration and habits, so we should keep them in mind.