Sex and sleep have a complex relationship – and fixing one may be able to help both
Sex and sleep are two of the body’s essential biological functions, and they are directly connected in a variety of ways. With about one-third of all American men and women not getting enough sleep, and roughly 31% of American men concerned about their sex life, issues with both are common problems.
Sleep deprivation can put a damper on any man or woman’s sex life
A lack of quality sleep can wreak havoc on your sex life. For one thing, studies conclusively show that sleep deprivation affects mood and can impair social skills – think of how much easier it is to snap at someone if you are sleep deprived.
The impact of sleep deprivation on hormones is key to its connection to sexual drive and performance. A study of 28 young, healthy men who were mildly deprived of sleep for a week – they each got about 5 hours per night – found that their testosterone levels dropped between 10 and 15 percent.
Another study which looked at the relationship between sexual dysfunction and sleep problems in older Iranian men found that “there was a significant relationship between all aspects of sexual function and the common problems related to sleep” – a finding which further illustrates how addressing one issue may be able to influence the other.
If you have trouble sleeping, an answer might actually be more sex
While many couples may not be having sex due to not getting enough sleep, their lack of sex could also be contributing to lack of sleep. Everyone knows that men typically get sleepy after sex – and there’s a good scientific reason for that. Sex and orgasm both release oxytocin, which increases trust and wellbeing, and prolactin, which makes you sleepy. They also decrease cortisol, the body’s major stress hormone.
In addition, “research shows that during ejaculation, men release a cocktail of brain chemicals, including norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, [and] nitric oxide,” many of which may improve sleep.
Science says the chemicals involved in male orgasm can also improve pair bonding – improving sex, sleep, and relationships
Oxytocin, prolactin, and vasopressin can help improve “pair bonding,” helping a man increase the connection with his partner. In fact, research shows that men release four times the amount of prolactin (which helps induce sleep) during intercourse orgasms than orgasms that result from masturbation. So, while some self-love may still be healthy, it doesn’t hold a candle to the real thing in terms of sleep and relationship benefits.
Improving sleep duration and quality, along with exercise and a healthy diet, can improve sexual function
While sleep is an essential part of the picture when it comes to improving your sex life, it’s only one of several things men can do to enhance sexual function. In addition to getting more sleep, men should be careful to eat a healthy diet – making sure to get enough protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs – as well as consider supplementing with Vitamin D and fish oil. Adding exercise to the equation also has incredible benefits for both sleep quality and sex drive, as well as overall health.
But when improving sleep, diet, and exercise just isn’t enough, it could be time to look into GAINSWave® shockwave therapy, an innovative way to improve sexual performance. Unlike surgery or pills, shockwave therapy has no known side effects, and it’s a quick and painless procedure that can be performed in the comfort of a doctor’s office.
Also unlike many other treatments, GAINSWave addresses some of the underlying causes of erectile dysfunction and impaired sexual performance – by clearing plaque from blood vessels and helping generate new ones – not just the symptoms.
If you’d like to explore shockwave therapy, use this directory to find a GAINSWave physician near you.