Sex & Relationships

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

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Whether you're a morning person or a night owl, there's one part of your schedule that might benefit from a little adjustment. The best time to masturbate, according to science, might not be when you expect. So get ready to add a fun event reminder ever to your calendar, or change up your schedule entirely.

From a hormonal perspective, the 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. “Also, morning sex can release hormones and feel-good chemicals that you can benefit from throughout the day,” says Dr. 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 for the day. Don’t discount the physical benefits, either. “Plus, sex is a workout and can get your cardiovascular system revved up for the day,” says Dr. Chavez.

But if you are absolutely not a morning person, then there’s a lot to be said for nighttime masturbation sessions as well. In general, orgasming at the end of your day is a brilliant plan, because climaxing can help improve the quality of your rest. "When you have an orgasm, you actually release a cocktail of chemicals including oxytocin, norepinephrine, vasopressin, prolactin, and serotonin, and all of these things are clinically proven to improve sleep quality in one way or another," said Shawn Stevenson, author of Sleep Smarter, in HuffPost. These hormones help reduce stress, lower cortisol levels, and even regulate your body's sleep-wake cycles, as Stevenson further explained. Indulging in a little self-love right before you want to sleep is one of the best nighttime habits imaginable 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, there are still plenty of ways a little nightly masturbation will help your body and mind. Seriously, don't discount the benefits of stress relief. "Anything that makes you feel more relaxed and gets you to turn off the day, whether you do yoga or get a foot massage, it’s all the same thing,” Dr. Lauren Streicher, associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University, said in HuffPost. “It’s not that it has to be sexual, but sex and self-stimulation is definitely one of the ways to relieve stress.” Lowering your stress level is a worthy goal in itself, and sleeping more soundly is an added benefit.

But even if your schedule doesn't allow for masturbation, then it's still a good idea to engage in self-play whenever you can. Masturbation can provide similar physical benefits to Kegel exercises by strengthening your pelvic floor, as noted in Cosmopolitan. 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 you don't really feel like any self-love at all right now. Whatever the case, do what feels right for your body.


Shannon Chavez Qureshi, PsyD, CST, licensed clinical psychologist and therapist,

This post was originally published on June 22, 2018. It was updated on Sep. 5, 2019.

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