The key to having an out-of-this-world sex life begins in bed. But don’t get ahead of yourself—we’re talking about sleep.
According to Bruce Corser, M.D., MBA, medical director of the Sleep Management Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio, “everyone’s sleep demand is different.” While experts generally prescribe 8 hours of sleep every night—a figure that has sparked much debate—Corser believes it varies from person to person. He continues, “The average self-reported sleep is 6.8 hours nightly.” “However, some people require more than 9, while others can work effectively on fewer than 7 hours of sleep.”
Of course, improving your sleep for your sex life entails optimizing your sleep for whoever is sleeping with you. And, while sleep requirements vary from person to person, men and women have distinct sleep concerns. Women, for example, take longer than males to fall asleep, but they sleep earlier at night and wake up earlier in the morning. (They are also more likely to develop sleeplessness and Restless Leg Syndrome.) Men, on the other hand, are twice as likely as women to develop sleep apnea, which commonly manifests as loud snoring or gasping upon awakening.
“These differences must be acknowledged in order for couples to have a peaceful relationship,” Corser says.
So, how can you hack your sleep to have more energized, pleasant, and frequent sex? And what, after all, is the payoff? Here are ten things you should know about making the most of your sleep time, whether you’re awake or not.
1. Testosterone levels are maintained by sleeping
As Corset points out, “a University of Chicago study indicated that males who sleep less than 5 hours a night for a week have lower testosterone levels than those who sleep 7-9 hours.” The T level declined by 10-15% after one week of sleep deprivation.
What’s the point? As Corser says, “Testosterone is essential for increasing strength and muscle mass, as well as bone density, and low levels are connected with a diminished sense of well-being, decreased vigor, mood, and sexual desire”. And testosterone is the hormone most closely associated with sexual desire. As a comparison, males who sleep 4 hours a night have morning T levels of 200-300 compared to those who get 8 hours of sleep. As a result, get your shuteye.
2. Sleep helps you stay in a positive frame of mind.
When people stay awake for 24 hours straight, their cognitive function equals that of a person with a blood alcohol level of 0.1%, which is considered lawful intoxication according to Corser’s findings. Memory and concentration are hazy, but your mood is also affected. Lack of mood = mediocre sex, at best.
3. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to make poor decisions.
In the wake of sleep deprivation, Corser argues, men make riskier judgments, such as having sex without protection, while women are more careful and hyper-aware.” Why not just avoid any unwarranted surprises? It’s time to go to sleep. Afterwards, both of you will agree that it’s good to wear a condom.
4. Fixing Sleep Disorders Brings People Together
Corser estimates that 40 percent of adult males and 24 percent of adult females snore regularly. In order to avoid this, 23 percent of couples sleep in separate beds, and a third of couples report that snoring has caused a rift in their marriage. If you’re sleeping in separate beds, you’re definitely getting better sleep, but how’s your sex life? Yeah…
When noisy snorers wake their partners up 21 times each hour on average, they lose an hour of sleep, explains Corser. There’s more. It was observed that half of bed mates were disturbed by snoring every night. A study published in the Journal of Chest looked at patients with sleep apnea and found that their spouses’ quality of life improved more than the patients’ when they were treated for the sleep disorder (plus daytime sleepiness improved by 20 percent). Find out what’s keeping you up at night, then take action to remedy the situation.
5. Sleep Defeats Erectile Dysfunction
Sleep apnea affects one in three males and one in five women who snore habitually, according to Corser. Sleep apnea increases the incidence of erectile dysfunction in men by up to 45 to 65 percent. According to Corser, “the degree of the sleep apnea correlates with the severity of erectile dysfunction.”
6. “Love Hormone” is boosted by sleep.
The stress hormone cortisol is reduced and the bonding or love hormone oxytocin is increased when couples sleep together in the same bed, according to Corser. ‘Sleeping with a male increases women’s sense of security,’ according to research. As a couple, you may find that sleeping together isn’t always conducive to harmony, especially when one of you is restless or has a disease such as Restless Leg Syndrome.
So that if one of you is tossing and turning in your sleep, the other will not be upset by it, you should invest in a huge mattress with a variable firmness.
7. Synchronize Sleep, Sync Sex Schedules
Adapt your sleep patterns to match your girlfriend’s if she gets up early and sleeps late. When it comes to sleeping and waking up at the same time, Corser says, “it’s best.” People with a hereditary tendency to be night owls or early owls may have a hard time adjusting. After two days, your circadian cycle will be back on track. Every night, get into bed with her at the same time. Spending time together will increase intimacy, and if you can’t sleep, try some relaxation techniques till you do. Aside from that, spending more time in bed together increases your chances of having sex.
8. Stop Hitting Snooze, Reduce Tension
According to Corser, if you want to wake up at 6 a.m., set your alarm for 5:30 a.m and push snooze every 10 minutes, you’ll disrupt both your and her sleep. Instead of hitting the snooze button over and over again, try sleeping for an extra 10-30 minutes. Aside from that, no one loves to hear their alarm go off again and over and over again.
9. No Pets, No Middleman
56 percent of pet owners let their pets sleep in their beds, according to a Mayo Clinic research conducted in Arizona, Corser explains. “It’s excellent if both parties agree,” he says. This is detrimental for your sexual life if it is not. (Besides, who wants to get it on with spectators unless it’s something you’re into?) It’s best to keep your pets in a separate area, especially if you have allergies. The last thing that anyone wants is to feel inferior to the family pet.
I forgot to mention cats, which tend to be more disruptive than dogs. Adding, “Dogs sleep through the night, whereas cats prowl around.”
10. Treat Insomnia, Boost Sex
This can affect the quality of sleep and sex if one partner has trouble falling asleep, remaining asleep, or waking up too early, adds Corser. In the event that you can’t sleep, quietly leave the bedroom and do something calming in another room, such as listening to music, reading in dim light, or meditating. Patients with chronic insomnia may require a sleep aid like Silenor. In the morning you’ll feel energized, and you’ll be able to do more during the day—or whenever you want to.