Your Lack of Sleep Could Be Ruining Your Sex Life
Lack of sleep can make you fall behind on work, your healthy diet, and your morning makeup routine. And according to experts it can also have some seriously negative affects on your sex life.
Sleep duration and quality has been found to directly influence a women’s sexual response, according to a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. We spoke to Shawn Stevenson, author of Sleep Smarter, about what this means for you and how to get a better night of sleep, and therefore a better relationship with better sex.
Your Sex Life
Short sleep duration and poor sleep quality lead to poor female sexual response, the previously mentioned study says. And while bad sleep can lead to bad sex, good sex can actually lead to better sleep, according to another study.
If you’re not getting the optimum amount or quality of shut eye, your sex life will probably reflect your tiredness.
“Sleep deprivation is proven to deplete levels of testosterone in both women and men,” explains Shawn Stevenson. For women, this leads to lower sex drive and less motivation overall.
For guys, it’s bad too. Reduced testosterone levels in men are linked to depression, increased body fat, and even erectile dysfunction, says Stevenson.
Your Non-Sexual Relationship
Even if your sex life is thriving, other parts of your relationship could possibly be affected by your lack of sleep.
“When you are tired, your best friend can look like your worst enemy,” explains Stevenson “It’s not just an idea, but a big physiological difference in the person who shows up to work, play, and to spend time with family when you’re sleep deprived.”
If you’ve ever felt like you’re not you when you’re tired, you’re more like a miserable zombie version, then you’re probably right. While your partner will likely understand that you’re just sleepy, it’s easy to get into stupid fights over little things due to your sleep-deprived crankiness.
A UC Berkeley study found that even moderate levels of sleep deprivation triggered more activity on the amygdala — the part of the brain responsible for anger, unwarranted aggression, and rage. At the same time, sleep deprivation decreases activity in the frontal and insular cortex, the part of the brain responsible for distinguishing between right and wrong, problem solving, and forming appropriate responses, Stevenson said.
Translation: lack of sleep can turn you into a cranky asshole. And no one wants to bang a cranky asshole.
How To Fix It
Now we know that poor sleep can lead to shitty sex and a shitty relationship, but how can we fix our sleep habits when there simply aren’t enough hours in the day?
“Quantity matters, but quality matters more,” according to Stevenson. You don’t have to suddenly start going to bed at 9 p.m. every night, or skip your nightly Pilates class to become a better functioning partner. “Sleeping smarter for six hours will easily blow away eight hours of poor quality sleep any given night.”
Stevenson suggests trying these three tips to elevate the quality of your sleep:
1. Keep it Cool
The cooler the better when trying to fall asleep, so if you need to sleep with covers, set your thermostat way down or buy a fan. Sleeping naked has been proven to alleviate tons of sleep issues, and we’re sure your sex life may get a little boost from this as well.
2. Don’t Get Lit
You’ve probably heard that keeping your electronics close during bed time disturbs your sleep, and it’s true. Keep your iPhone screen and laptop away from your bed, and try to eliminate “light pollution” from your bedroom with blackout curtains as well, especially if you’re in a city with lots of lights. Also, put your phone on “do not disturb” mode to avoid waking up to late night booty call texts that you don’t want to answer.
3. Wake Up With a Bang
Stevenson says that getting 5-10 minutes of exercise each morning can help normalize your cortisol rhythms, and therefore help you sleep better at night. Even if you’re not a morning person and there’s no way you’re hitting your gym in the a.m., try finding a 10-minute ab routine or doing some quick morning yoga before you get your day started.