The Science of Sex and Sleep
There’s lots of scientific evidence that great sex leads to great sleep. And vice versa. We partnered with friends and sexual wellness gurus at Foria to help you transform how you wind down (and up) in bed.
“In the bedroom” is a euphemism for sex, of course, but our bedrooms encompass so much more – sanctuary, renewal, precious rest, dreams, and all kinds of intimacy. (Including lots of great sex, we hope.)
In that sense, the bedroom can be a useful metaphor. All the crucial human needs that we meet in our private spaces are deeply interconnected. There’s lots of scientific evidence that proves great sex leads to great sleep – keep reading, we’ll get to that – but a great bedroom life, sex and sleep included, is so much more than basic cause and effect.
Foria creates unique, all-natural, plant-based formulas to support people’s intimate needs. And the longer Foria pursues a mission to change lives through the healing power of pleasure, the more convinced we are that there’s no bright line between intimacy and overall wellbeing. Support great sex, enjoy restorative rest, and come home to your body – just like you’d crawl between the sheets with someone you love.
“GREAT SEX AND GREAT SLEEP GO HAND-IN-HAND. EVERY BIOLOGICAL FUNCTION IN THE BODY RELIES ON THE RESTORATIVE BENEFITS OF SLEEP TO FUNCTION PROPERLY, AND THIS INCLUDES YOUR SEX DRIVE – AND GREAT SLEEP SUPPORTS YOUR SENSE OF WELLBEING, AVAILABILITY FOR EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL INTIMACY, AND ULTIMATELY YOUR LIBIDO AS WELL. THIS IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF THE BODY’S WISDOM: HELPING YOU PRIORITIZE WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOU THROUGH POSITIVE FEEDBACK.”
– Kiana Reeves, Chief Education Officer, Foria
Sex and sleep: the science part.
Most of us know from the beginnings of our intimate lives that great orgasms lead to great sleep – and “mornings after” are often so wonderful simply because we wore ourselves out.
Unfortunately, insomnia is all too common. Over 35% of American adults report getting less than seven hours of good ZZZ’s a night. Lack of quality sleep can be seriously disruptive to our lives and health. And too many people resort to unhealthy tactics out of desperation for rejuvenating rest.
Clearly the answer is for everyone to be having great sex, solo or with a partner. But what does science say? Is there a clear link between good lovin’ (or self-lovin’) and dropping off to dreamland?
Studies say: absolutely yes. And like all things sleep, sex and wellness, the connection is holistic, systemic, and involves body and mind alike.
Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind when you’re deciding whether to reach for your vibrator or stay staring at your phone past your bedtime.
Sex hormones – nature’s sleeping pill.
Great sex produces a whole cocktail of soothing natural chemicals in the body and brain, including oxytocin, nicknamed “the love hormone”. Oxytocin is released with sensual touch and a sense of intimate togetherness, and leads to feelings of wellbeing, improved mood, relaxation, even gentle euphoria. But oxytocin isn’t the only love hormone in the game – fulfilling sexual intimacy also releases dopamine and prolactin, which both lead to restful warm fuzzies.
Great sex, great sleep – everyone agrees.
A 2017 survey of primarily heterosexual, cisgender men and women showed that everyone reported better sleep outcomes following a satisfying sexual experience – even though our hormonal makeup is different, and even though men have a reputation for falling asleep immediately after orgasm while their female partners take longer. (Our solution to that age-old problem? Pick up a bottle of Foria Awaken Arousal Oil, and if you’re the one with the vulva, insist on more orgasms so you can catch up.)
No lover? No problem.
The same survey linked above also showed that anecdotally, all participants reported better sleep after masturbation – but they were able to go into more granular detail about why, perhaps because we experience solo sex with more clarity and understanding than when we bring in a partner as a variable.
Orgasms are orgasms, and they release the same relaxing hormones regardless of who’s causing them – so if you’re having trouble drifting off, consider letting your hands drift down.
Less sex, more stress.
A recent study showed that overall, people are having less sex than they used to – and that curve is still declining. Correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation, but during the same timeframe, more people have reported their stress levels rising. Not to mention that lack of quality sleep can lead to decreased libido – and a cycle that feeds itself.
Humans are primal animals, and the craving for intimacy with a partner evolved to help us survive by cementing deep bonds. (It’s also safer to sleep cuddled up with a partner if you happen to live during the Ice Age and that weird noise might be a saber-toothed tiger on the rampage.) When we lack quality time to restore ourselves and experience pleasure together, a deep and ancient need goes unmet.
Pleasure and wellbeing go hand-in-hand… always.
We need quality rest to feel good, and to access our libidos so we can have great sex, which leads to quality rest – the opposite of that exhausting stress cycle. And the key to getting off the exhaustion-insomnia-stress merry-go-round may be great orgasms, and lots of them, on a regular basis.
Think of physical intimacy like regular exercise or a healthy diet. It’s just as important, but much more fun. Cultivate a thoughtful self-love routine, make sure your partner knows what you need to feel really good, and if you don’t have time for a full sex sesh, try a quickie. (New to Foria? The Quickie Kit is a great way to sample Foria’s sexiest bestsellers, anytime, anywhere.)
Good sex habits are good sleep habits. Keep that in mind and you’ll be orgasming off to dreamland in no time.