Sex & Relationships

Here's the best time to masturbate, according to science.
Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images

There's Actually An Ideal Time Of Day To Masturbate, According To Science

The only excuse you need to schedule a little self-love.

by Lindsay E. Mack and Mackenzie Sylvester
Originally Published: 

Whether you're a morning person or a night owl, there's one part of your schedule that might benefit from a little adjustment. Finding the best time to masturbate can make a world of difference in your day. While there’s no strict “best time to masturbate” that works exactly the same for everyone (shocker), learning about the benefits of masturbation during different times of the day can be super useful — hello relaxation, optimized energy levels, and better sleep. But more on all that later. Get ready to add a fun event reminder ever to your calendar or change up your schedule entirely.

The ideal time to masturbate is a bit nuanced “because it has to do with varying factors like personal interest [and] desire, whether you have the privacy [and] time then, and so on,” Carol Queen, Ph.D., sex educator and staff sexologist at Good Vibrations, tells Romper. “This is generally true of any time frame — there are few ‘shoulds’ when it comes to sex, once consent is clear.” But once you’re in the clear with privacy and have a few extra minutes on hand, there are definitely specific benefits to to masturbating in the morning versus at night, for example. And of course, it will vary day to day what time works best for you to get your self-pleasure on.

Benefits Of Masturbating In The Morning

Luis Alvarez/DigitalVision/Getty Images

From a hormonal perspective, mornings may be a particularly good time to experiment sexually. “There are benefits of being sexual in the morning because both men and women have peak testosterone levels upon waking,” certified sex therapist Dr. Shannon Chavez tells Romper. “Testosterone is important for sexual desire because it fuels libido and sexual functioning.” Basically, many people are ready to go, at least hormone-wise, first thing in the morning.

In addition, an early morning session of self-love may help set the tone for a happier day overall. “Morning sex can release hormones and feel-good chemicals that you can benefit from throughout the day,” says Chavez. “Orgasms in the morning can help improve math and public speaking abilities, boost your immune system, and release chemicals to boost your mood.” In other words, this just might help your brain get into gear.

Don’t discount the physical benefits of masturbation, either. “Particularly if you tend to feel energized by masturbating, as some do, this can be a wonderful, pleasurable way to start your day,” notes Queen. “Plus, sex is a workout and can get your cardiovascular system revved up for the day,” Chavez adds. A quick solo romp might just be the key to get you out of bed faster — and with a full tank of energy to take on the day.

Benefits Of Masturbating During The Day

If you are absolutely not a morning person, there’s a lot to be said for midday masturbation sessions as well. “For those who have lots of family responsibilities or other levels of busy-ness in the morning and evening, afternoon (if you are at home) can be a great time to take the opportunity for some personal focus — which might very much include taking time to masturbate,” Queen says.

Really, whenever you’re in the mood, feel free to head to the bedroom. “[Masturbating] is beneficial during any time during the day if someone is feeling sluggish, moodiness, anxious, or even a headache,” Dr. Monica Grover, D.O., double board-certified gynecologist and the head gynecologist at VSPOT medical spa, tells Romper. If you can find a window in the middle of the afternoon for some you time, take it. As long as it’s appropriate, Queen says it’s always a good time to masturbate — “unless, you know, there are non-consenting people in the room, during work hours, etc.”

Benefits Of Masturbating At Night

Oscar Wong/Moment/Getty Images

The benefits of orgasms at the end of your day will prove evening masturbation to be a brilliant plan. Climaxing before bed can help improve the quality of your rest. “Masturbation can help with many different situations due to the release of pleasure hormones and neurotransmitters, such as oxytocin, norepinephrine, prolactin, dopamine, and serotonin,” Grover explains. “The combination of these helps to exert a natural release of stress … It can help promote a restful sleep [by] helping to relax the mind and body, as melatonin can also be released once the other hormones are triggered,” she adds. Indulging in a little self-love right before you want to sleep is one of the best nighttime habits for both your body and your mind. Plus, it's way more fun than popping a sleeping pill or counting sheep.

Even if you don't make it to orgasm, nightly masturbation can still help with stress relief (in some cases). “When it comes to what any given person might find relaxing, there can be a fair amount of individual variation: A foot or back massage will be bliss for some, and will make others feel restless or uncomfortable,” Queen says. “Masturbation can be ultimately relaxing — or can bring up challenging emotions, or make a person feel a bit revved up. But in general, masturbation can be one element in an overall toolkit for relaxation that includes getting exercise, meditating, massage, warm baths, calming beverages... whatever works for you!” Lowering your stress level is a worthy goal in itself, and sleeping more soundly is an added benefit.

Even if your schedule doesn't allow for daily masturbation, it's still a good idea to engage in self-play whenever you can. “Masturbation and orgasm are also great exercises when it comes to blood flow, which is such an important part of genital health, too,” Queen says. This is in addition to all the stress relief benefits already mentioned. Really, there's no downside.

If you're able to masturbate every night and drift off into perfect slumbers, that's great. It's also OK if you prefer a morning shift or don't feel like any self-love at all right now. Whatever the case, do what feels right for your body.


Shannon Chavez Qureshi, Psy.D., CST, licensed clinical psychologist and therapist,

Carol Queen, Ph.D., sex educator and staff sexologist at Good Vibrations

Dr. Monica Grover, D.O., double board-certified gynecologist and the head gynecologist at VSPOT medical spa

This article was originally published on