Sex can improve sleep patterns

Ladies hate when it happens… but it almost always does. Right after your earth-shattering lovemaking, your man is out, asleep in a matter of minutes. But really, it’s not his fault. And ladies, sex actually has the same effect on you, even if it just takes a few extra minutes to kick in.

It’s a little bit funny that we make a big deal about our lovers falling asleep after sex, as if it somehow means they are uninterested in us. You’d think as hi-tech future-Earth as we kind of are these days; we’d understand there are some things we just can’t change about our bodies, at least, not yet anyway. Sleeping after sex? That’s one of them.

In last week’s article in our series on on how sex improves your health, we mentioned oxytocin, the chemical that makes you feel good and helps you bond with your partner. Sex and mood go hand in hand; it’s a little bit hard to be that close to someone else without feeling good, and you can credit that to the endorphins our body release like the oxytocin. While it does many great things for us, it has one little side effect: it makes you sleepy.

An alarming number of Americans are sleep deprived — at least one in ten of us — which can lead to weight gain, depression, lowered immune function, trouble concentrating and focusing. Sleep-inducing drugs prescribed for insomnia can leave you feeling groggy in the morning and some can even lead to dependency.

Laura Berman, director, Berman Center for Women’s Sexual Health, says that what often happens with sleep-deprived individuals is that they lose interest in having sex. The stress of trying to get to sleep can make crawling into bed feel more like a task rather than restful and relaxed, which is a key component for getting in the mood. She recommends anyone who has trouble falling asleep: Try having sex. The endorphins released will also improve your mood, making you feel more relaxed, taking stress out of the picture so you can get a good night’s rest. And with all the sex you’re having, surely you’ll need it.

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Photo: planetchopstick