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Does Sex Help You Sleep?

February 11, 2021


One of the most widespread public health issues today is lack of sleep. About 50-70 million adults in the US currently have a sleep disorder and even more regularly experience the effects of sleep deprivation. If you’ve ever spent the night tossing and turning, there could be a simple solution to your sleep issues. 

The Relationship Between Sex and Sleep

So, can having sex before you sleep improve your quality of sleep? According to multiple recent studies, the answer is yes. While researchers admit there isn’t enough concrete evidence yet to suggest that sex makes you sleepy, the chemicals released during sex can certainly help a person get a better night’s sleep. A recent study of nearly 800 adults indicated that nearly 71% of respondents said their sleep quality improved after sex with a partner. In that same study, masturbation to orgasm led to improved sleep quality for more than 50% of respondents.

One of the major hormones related to sex, nicknamed the “love hormone,” is oxytocin. Oxytocin is typically released during feelings of affection, affectionate or sensual touch, and of course, during sex. Its nickname comes from the hormone’s ability to relieve stress and cause a person to feel relaxed. 

Other hormones, namely dopamine, prolactin, and progesterone, also help provide a sense of relaxation and sleepiness after sex. Women have the added benefit of increased estrogen levels after sex. Estrogen has been shown to enhance REM sleep, a deeper stage of sleep believed to be essential to cognitive functions like learning, creativity, and memory. Similarly, men experience a surge of prolactin after sex, which causes a feeling of fatigue.

It’s important to note here that everyone is different. Depending on various factors, a combination of these hormones could be more stimulating and keep you awake, or they could be sleep-inducing. Everything considered it is still reasonable to say that an enjoyable physical or mental experience before bed could improve your mood, release stress, and make it easier to go to sleep and stay asleep. 

How Can We Help? 

If you’re experiencing a more severe sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, having sex before bed won’t be enough to relieve your symptoms. Our team is committed to understanding each patient’s specific needs and providing the very best sleep apnea treatments. Contact us today and learn how we can help treat your sleep apnea! 

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