When tired, most people are not at their best and the idea of getting exercise or missing sleep again the next day is daunting. So it is no surprise a night of tossing and turning does not exactly bode well for one’s sex life the next night. In fact, the converse is truer. Anew study confirms that sleeping more one night leads to more likely sex the next night for women.
Lack of interested in sex (either fantasy or real) has been linked in many studies to feeling ill, psychological problems and dissatisfaction with one’s partner. But sleep problems were generally not evaluated as a reason for sexual dysfunction. (The previous researchers have never told a partner or been told that they are just too tired.)
A new study, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, attempted to address this research gap. The research team, from the University of Michigan, looked at the impact a good night’s sleep, or lack of, can have on sexual activity in women. They found that each additional hour of sleep increases the likelihood of sex by 14 percent the next night.
The researchers spent more than two weeks tracking the sleep and sexual patterns of 171 young, healthy women. Over half of the participants said they had at least one regular sexual partner at the onset of the study. They specifically did not include anyone who had recently taken antidepressants in the study group because they are known to affect sexual response.
For two weeks, participants were asked daily about their sexual and sleep experiences the previous day. Typical questions included: “Did you masturbate within the past 24 hours?” and “Did you have sex with another person within the past 24 hours?” Their sleep quality was also surveyed. Questions there included: “How long did it take you to fall asleep last night?” and “How many hours of sleep did you get last night?”
Based on the two-week period reviewed, the research team found that women who got more sleep had improved vaginal arousal. They also found that each extra hour of sleep that a woman got increased her likelihood of having sex within the next day by 14 percent.
The findings seem to prove that good sleep is important for maintaining an ability and interest in having sex. These effects, according to the researchers, were independent of age, daytime fatigue or time of month. The researchers say that women and their partners need “to help promote good sleep for one another” to protect against having problems in the bedroom.
This study was for a short period of time and needs to be replicated on a broader scale. This is particularly needed since a 2013 study suggested that, when well-rested, men and women each rated the sexual intent of women as much lower than that of men. It also showed that sleep deprived men think women are more interested than they are. The theory there was that sleep deprivation, which can cause impairment in the frontal lobe, has an effect on decision-making variables such as inhibition and moral reasoning.
The two sex and sleep studies seem to show a disconnect between the sexes, indicating that far more research is needed. In the meantime, if a partner is tired and offers a “rain check,” keep in mind the idea that getting more sleep leads to more interest in sex the next day for women and make a date for the following night.
By Dyanne Weiss