How does sleep deprivation affect your sex life?
There is no rocket science to understand that poor sleeping hours affect one’s life miserably, and sex life is definitely something that gets adversely affected as well. It so happens that even in spite of having increased sexual arousal, the fatigue that happens due to lack of sleep often interferes affects one’s intimate times, thereby giving rise to sexual difficulties. With the rise of a fast-paced lifestyle, sleep disorder has become a major problem that causes erectile dysfunction and female sexual difficulties.
How not getting enough sleep can affect your sex life?
You might not be comfortable enough to discuss openly how sleep issues are affecting your sex life, but you should understand how lack of sleep can get in the way of your sexual well-being in several ways. This is because it eventually hampers your entire body clock and screws your mental well-being as well.
1. Reduced sexual desire or Low libido
There may be a link between sexual arousal and how much you’re sleeping. Sleep deprivation has been associated with reduced sexual desire and arousal in both men and women. For example, one study found that women’s libido, or desire to have sex, increased by 14% for every additional hour of sleep they got.
Unstimulated arousal is more consistently correlated with sleep quality than unstimulated desire. In addition to this, it is also suggested that a lack of sleep can decrease a man’s testosterone, which can also cause low libido. Likewise, it is also seen that this drop in testosterone might cause difficulty in sleeping as well.
2. Poor mental health
Poor sleep has the power to cut down sex also because of its effect on mental health. Insufficient and fragmented sleep can give rise to conditions like depression and anxiety. These are crucial mental disorders that are often responsible for sexual dysfunction in both men and women because of their direct impact on sexual desire and arousal among both genders.
3. Impulsive Decision-making
Another way that sleep affects one’s sexual health is through impaired or impulsive decision-making. Sleep deprivation may increase the risk of impulsive sexual behaviour that might even lead to sexually transmitted infections or unplanned pregnancies.
The male body also uses testosterone to produce sperm, which is key to reproduction and fertility. Males who do not get adequate sleep may not produce enough sperm. In addition, low testosterone levels can also harm the quality of existing sperm. This, along with low libido can impact a male’s ability to conceive children.
It has already been established that a long-term lack of sleep or having an irregular menstrual cycle, can trigger problems with ovulation in women. Ovulation is the period in which an egg is released from the ovaries. It is also the period in which people with female sex organs are most likely to get pregnant.
5. Lack of sleep cause Erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition where men cannot get or maintain an erection in order to have sex. This condition is affecting millions of men around the globe, every year. Often, ED turns out to be a symptom of some other underlying health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, or sleep loss.
Lack of sleep and erectile dysfunction are very closely related. It appears that men who have sleeping disorders are more likely to have ED. To illustrate, a study published in 2016 found that 63% of men living with obstructive sleep apnea also had erectile dysfunction.
Too much sleep deprivation results in insomnia, one of the most common sleep disorders. Insomnia, in turn, may be a risk factor for sexual dysfunction. A lack of sleep or disturbed sleeping hours also have been linked to increasing the risk of erectile dysfunction.
Working non-standard hours, known as shift work, also has been linked to erectile dysfunction. Shift work can throw a person’s circadian rhythm out of alignment with the day-night schedule, interfering with numerous bodily processes. The risk of sexual problems has been found mostly in shift workers who report poor sleep.
Does sex help you to sleep well?
Just as sleep may help you have a better sex life, sex on its part is also supposed to improve sleep quality. During sex, the body releases hormones, such as oxytocin and prolactin. It has been seen that these hormones are capable to reduce anxiety levels, which can induce relaxation and sleepiness.
Things to Do that will Help You Have Better Sleep and Sex Life!
- Set the bedroom temperature to a cooler or more comfortable degree. Try to use dim and warm lighting, spray a pleasant fragrance in the room, and last but not the least, get a mattress that is supportive of your body.
- Remove all possible sources of sleep disruption from any sort of noise or harsh light by using blackout curtains, a sleep mask, a white noise machine, and earplugs.
- Maintain a regular and consistent sleep schedule for both working as well as non-working days. The ultimate goal should be to have the same ‘go to bed’ and wake-up times daily.
- Avoid having anything that can interfere with sleeping hours at night, including alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, late and heavy meals, or even longer naps in the late afternoon or evening.
- Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone; which essentially means putting away cell phones, laptops, and tablets for at least 30 minutes before bed.
- Take out time on a regular basis for some sort of physical activity and some exposure to natural light.
- Learn some kind of relaxation techniques and incorporate them into the nightly routine before lying down to bed.