By Diana Kelly
If you feel like you don’t have the energy or desire for sex as often as you used to, a lack of sleep—or quality sleep—could be to blame. Here, we’re diving into the associations and studies researchers have done on how improving your sleep could help step up your sex life.
1. Your sleep disorder could be affecting your mood
The Society for Women’s Health Research recently had a presentation at a health conference called, “Exploring Sex and Gender Differences in Sleep.” Their research said said that while men suffering from sleep disorders report snoring, gasping and sleepiness, women tend to report fatigue, insomnia and depression. If you think you’re suffering from a sleep disorder, it’s important to make an appointment with your doctor to get to the bottom of the issue and rule out something more serious, like an underlying illness or depression.
2. You might need a midday nap
If you’re having one of those days where all you can think about is going to sleep at night, taking a little siesta can help you feel more energized and give you the boost you need to stay awake for a few more hours after dinner—long enough to get into sexcapades that evening. According to an article on Oprah.com, “research has shown that just a few minutes of shut-eye will improve feelings of alertness, performance and mood, and a short afternoon nap can make up for the loss of one hour of nighttime sleep.” The article says that best practices for napping include: taking one while it’s still light out, only indulging for 10 to 20 minutes, and to have your post-lunch caffeine right before your brief snooze—the caffeine and nap combo will have you feeling more energized when you wake up.
3. Aim for a solid seven each eve
That’s the minimum number of hours recommended by most health experts to help keep energy balanced, hunger hormones in check, and mood at a healthy level. According to research mentioned on the National Sleep Foundation, lack of sleep can increase your moodiness, make you more irritable, and less enthusiastic—which can certainly put a wet blanket on your sex life.
4. Don’t go to sleep right after sex
Researchers found that there’s a link between the tendency to fall asleep first after sex and a greater desire for bonding and affection from the partner who’s still awake. The study, published in the Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, examined 456 participants, who completed anonymous online surveys assessing experiences and desires with one’s partner after sex. The study participants noted “who falls asleep after sex?” and “Who falls asleep first when going to bed not after sex?” According to the recap on ScienceDaily.com, study participants whose partners nodded off immediately after sex had stronger desires for cuddling and chatting afterwards. If you want more post-sex cuddling or talking, let your partner know that this makes you feel good, safe, and loved. Tell them that a few minutes of snuggling between the sheets goes a long way towards making your sex life more rewarding—which can increase the likelihood that you’ll want to get it on more often.