When it comes to spicing up your sex life, sometimes the best thing you can do in bed is sleep. Because there are many ways sleep deprivation affects your sex life, getting enough shuteye each night is a higher priority. Sleep is free, after all, and few things can make you feel better than getting enough of it.
It’s easy for chronic sleep deprivation to become a habit. With a world that runs 24/7 and the immense pressure to be “on” almost all of the time, it can be tempting to forego some shuteye in favor of knocking off a couple more items of your to-do list. Fortunately, there are ways to determine how much sleep you actually need each night so you can make sleeping enough a higher concern. Because coffee can only compensate for so much, especially where your libido is concerned.
Sleep deprivation can affect almost every aspect of your sex life, from your hormone levels to your sense of emotional well-being in the relationship. Not surprisingly, being constantly sleepy can wreck havoc on your general desire and libido. So if you need any more reasons to go to bed on time tonight, here are the many ways going without enough sleep can totally mess with your sex life.
Lack of sleep can hurt desire on a very basic level. As Dr. Robert D. Oexman, Director of the Sleep to Live Institute, noted in Shape, "chronic sleep deprivation, which can occur even if you get a solid six hours a night (the majority of adults need at least seven), can lower levels of testosterone—the sex drive hormone—in both men and women." And throwing your hormones out of whack can upset your mojo.
One bad night's sleep can have immediate effects on your sex life. On the flip side, getting enough sleep can only help the cause. According to a study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine,"longer sleep duration was related to greater next-day sexual desire" and "a one hour increase in sleep length corresponded to a 14 percent increase in odds of engaging in partnered sexual activity." If you get enough sleep, the odds of having sex are more in your favor.
It isn't exactly news that a bad night's sleep can put you in a bad mood. As psychologist Michael J. Breus said on Psychology Today, "when the dynamics move away from appreciation and toward more negative feelings as a result of sleep deprivation, couples’ sex lives can also take a serious downturn." Chances are you won't feel as lovey-dovey if you're chronically tired.
When you're coping with chronic sleep deprivation, chances are the only thing you want is more sleep. It's easy to become "too tired to even care about sex" as noted in Examiner. It's also easy for you and your partner to drift apart if this becomes a habit.
If your sleep deprivation goes on for several days, then you may have less sex overall. As a 2008 poll from the National Sleep Foundation found, 20 percent of respondents "have sex less often or have lost interest in sex because they are too sleepy." If you're concerned about a flagging libido, then getting enough sleep may be one way to counteract it.
If the brain is the biggest sex organ, then you want your mental health in good working order to ensure a healthy sex life. But as the National Health Services explains, "chronic sleep debt may lead to long-term mood disorders like depression and anxiety." Furthermore, Everyday Health notes that "depression can limit or eliminate the pleasure normally drawn from sex." It's a double whammy of bad news for your sex drive.
Few things can kill the mood faster than a nasty head cold. "One of the consequences of sleep deprivation is a weakening of this system which leaves us less protected when the next bug comes along," the Valley Sleep Center explained. Because being generally healthy overall is a pretty big precursor of a healthy sex life.