Busy minds and digital devices are contributing to many of us tossing and turning throughout the night. We have been taught about the importance of sleep repeatedly through our lives, at school, parents’ advice, many media sources including Bliss. We have been taught that poor sleep negatively impacts our physical and mental health, science also confirms that a lack of ZZZs contributes to low sex drive.
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA, 1 in 3 people in the United States is sleep-deprived. With anxiety, long work hours, being continually connected to the world digitally and family demands, financial worries and never ending to do lists, there feels like fewer hours in the day to sleep.
When we think of sleep deprivation, we don’t often think of the impact it can have on our sex lives so today we thought it was a good idea to share that information with our readers. Keep reading to find out how sleep deprivation is impacting your sex drive and what you and your partner(s) can do about it.
How does sleep affect your sex life?
Adults typically need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night according to The National Sleep Foundation. However, reality is very different, it has been reported that the average person gets less than seven hours sleep every night. What does this mean for the average person’s sex drive? The most obvious way is that a lack of sleep negatively impacts sex drive, which means we are too tired to be bothered with sex or any effort to create intimacy that can encourage our sex drive. A study by Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists found that the No. 1 reason people or couples report losing interest in sex is because they are worn out by the day. Conversely, a study conducted at the University of Michigan Medical School found that the longer people sleep, the more rested they feel and interested they are in sex.
When we are so tired, we have no interest in sex our brains are suppressing the production of sex hormones like oestrogen and testosterone. Instead, our brain produces more stress hormones such as cortisol which leads to decreased sex drive and erectile dysfunction.
Sleep deprivation leads to exhaustion, stress or depression, which decreases sex drive among parents, women and people with vaginas. Insomnia and other sleep disorders are more likely among people who are pregnant, recently had a baby or are experiencing peri menopause or menopausal symptoms.
How can you improve sleep to boost sex drive?
Hands up if you sleep with your phone next to you or next to your bed? Let’s be honest now. A Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report found that 71 percent of survey respondents say they sleep with or next to their smartphones. Sleep scientists agree that the bedroom should be for sleep and sex only. So, we need to be leaving work, TV time and gadgets outside of the room we sleep in. It is evident that for the majority of us that is not possible, so it is recommended that electronics such as your TV, laptop and cell phone be switched off one to three hours before your bedtime.
The next recommendation is a sleep schedule. It is suggested that if you don’t have one that you make one that works for you. The aim is to get seven or nine hours of sleep every night and if you are waking up tired still it is advisable that you try to add an extra hour to your sleep schedule. To further improve your sleep and boost your sex drive, try adding restful wellness practices such as meditation that could enhance the quality and quantity of your snoozing hours. One restful wellness activity could include spending time in nature as it is vital for resetting the parasympathetic nervous system. When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, a person will feel calm and relaxed and when we are calm and relaxed we sleep better. Another activity could be something as setting time aside at the end of the day to do some deep breathing exercises -Deep breathing from the diaphragm lowers cortisol levels, reducing stress. So, take a moment to concentrate on your breath. Slow your breathing down, take big diaphragmatic breaths and take a little longer to exhale than you do to inhale, this is called 4-7-8 breathing, which means inhale for 4 counts, hold for 7 counts and exhale for 8 counts and then repeat.
You could also try a bath or a massage with one of the beautiful Intimate Earth Massage oils. Give yourself a foot, leg, hand and arm massage, or ask your partner to give you one. The Sutil Massage oils are gorgeous and they are kind to the earth from manufacture to when you throw the aluminium bottle in the recycling.
To wrap things up working on improving your sleep can lead to better sex, it’s also true that good sex could lead to good sleep. Remember good sex doesn’t have to equal partnered sex it can mean solo sex. So if you’re too tired for partnered intercourse, or its not your current situation than using your hands to pleasure yourself, consider adding a sex toy to your night-time routine.