For a majority of adults, the bedroom plays hosts to more than just sleep. But how much do sex and sleep impact each other? According to Dr. Matthew Edlund and online magazine Psychology Today, more than you'd think!
Does sex improve sleep?
That’s a tough one to answer scientifically. Sleep is often studied in sleep labs – and rarely are other bedroom activities studied in those environments. Subjective responses from individuals range widely from a resounding yes to a resounding no. A common occurrence that leads many to the conclusion that sex often leads to dozing off is the fact that many men fall asleep quickly after this particular bedroom pastime.... but can it be avoided?
The doctor’s answer:
He suggested that the problem of post-coitus snoozing could be addressed in two ways. First, don’t limit sex just to bedtime. Second, prepare for your partner's penchant for nodding off and be ready to keep them awake with conversation and humor.
Can you have sex while you’re asleep?
The surprising answer is that this phenomenon does exist, and it has a name: sexsomnia. It was confirmed in a sleep lab in Canada that almost 8% of their subjects experienced sexsomnia, defined as initiating or engaging in sex with a partner while sleeping. More men (11%) than women (4%) experienced this phenomenon, and the researchers suggested that it may be more common in a sleep lab where people have come for help sleeping than in the general population. However, one British wife said she conceived while her husband was asleep, and she had sent him a text the next day to tell him about their nightly adventure – before she knew she was pregnant.
The doctor says:
While people may think sex and sleep are very separate, the truth is that people drift in and out of consciousness throughout the 24-hour day. Sexsomnia is like the micro-sleeps drivers sometimes experience—people can be partially asleep and partially awake. He suggests paying attention to your body’s clock and trying to keep a regular sleep and wake cycle. Watch out for sleeping pills. Sleep walking and other nocturnal events are reported with drugs like Ambien.
Can sleep improve sex?
As it turns out, multiple studies confirm that sleep can improve your skin, your memory, your ability to concentrate, your immune system and your sex life. Poor sleep is a bummer for you and your sex life.
More from the doctor:
Something to consider is REM sex. During REM sleep – the complex dream sleep – male sex hormones peak. Though this isn't necessarily a means to improve sex, capitalizing on how the body responds to REM—notably the hour before you wake—can help rev up your sex life if timed correctly.