(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)If you’d like a decent night’s sleep, it might be worth slotting in some sex before you slide under your duvet.
Having sex before bed can improve your sleep, suggests a new study from Central Queensland University.
It’s long been thought that an orgasm pre-snooze is a wonderful thing, but now this bit of research adds some evidence to back up those claims.
Researchers surveyed 800 men and women about their sex lives, and found that in 59% of women and 68% of men, sex before bed improved overall sleep quality.
Having an orgasm helps quite a bit, 68% of women and 74% of men report better sleep if they climax during sex. This can also help people nod off more quickly rather than tossing and turning for ages.
Don’t stress if you don’t have a sex buddy, though, as masturbation will do the trick.
Lead researcher Michele Lastella is interested in the gender differences in the study’s results: ‘This study is the first to explore the perceived relationship between sexual activities, sleep quality and sleep latency in the general adult population to specifically identify whether any gender differences exist.
‘A difference between males’ and females’ perceptions of sleep quality, particularly following sex with a partner, was apparent.
“’ignificant gender differences existed in perception of sex with a partner and impact on subsequent sleep quality and sleep latency.
‘Specifically, a higher proportion of males reported perceived improvement in sleep quality and sleep following sex with a partner.
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)‘The reason for the difference between males and females was not explored in this study, but it may be explained by the gender gap in orgasm frequency; that is, men, when compared with women, are more likely to orgasm during sex with a partner.’
We know that there’s an orgasm gender gap, and that straight women are having the least orgasms out of everyone, so it makes sense that they would see the least benefit from sex before sleep – as they’re likely to be having sex without an orgasm.
Lastella adds: ‘These findings suggest that sex with a partner involving an orgasm may serve as a means to promote and improve sleep for both genders.
‘Engaging in safe and satisfying sexual activity – either alone or with a partner – together with other sleep hygiene strategies before attempting sleep, may offer the general adult population a healthy behavioral approach toward improving their subsequent sleep.’
Researchers believe that the sleep benefits provided to sex are due to the release of feelgood hormones oxytocin and prolactin, as well as the power of sex to reduce feelings of stress.
The tricky thing is that stress doesn’t just impact your sleep, but it can also prevent you from having sex. Plus, your sleep affects your sex life, so it’s not as simple as relying on sex to remedy sleeping troubles.
It’s easy to get into a damaging cycle of stress, poor sleep, and no sex, all feeding into each other and making you miserable.
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)It’s vital to tackle stress first to allow you to enjoy sex and help you get to sleep more easily, which will then allow for lower stress and better sex, which will lead to better sleep. Hooray.
If sex helps you reduce your stress levels, then go for it. And if you need another reason to get busy, it’s worth listening to Candice Brown, a skin aesthetician at London Bride Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic clinic, who says having sex – and improving your sleep as a result – can make a massive difference to your skin.
‘Sleep is really important when it comes to looking after your skin,’ says Candice.
‘Our skin cells have their own internal body clocks and when we sleep, this is the time they’re able to rejuvenate and repair themselves.
‘As we snooze, our body instigates an increased blood flow to the skin, which aids this healing process. And sleep deprivation actually decreases this blood flow, having a knock-on effect on our complexion.
‘And there’s also some evidence to suggest that sex can also improve skin health.
‘Like sleep, intercourse also increases blood flow to the skin, providing a boost in oxygen.
‘Sex also leads to a reduction in cortisol levels – aka the stress hormone – which can in turn improve collagen production.
‘It’s this collagen that helps keep our skin supple and smooth and a lack of it can lead to wrinkles and creases.
‘Other studies have found that the regulation of hormones like oxytocin, prolactin, and estrogen – released during sex – also help to prevent acne flare-ups.
‘In effect, sex leads to a ‘double whammy’ of skin protection – not only is it good for the complexion in its own right, by boosting sleep it has a secondary effect, too.’
Okay, so lower stress, have some sex, then get plenty of rest. That’s our weekend plans sorted.
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