In case you needed a reason to have sex or masturbate right before bed, science has got you covered. Apparently, a pre-bedtime romp can lead to a better night's sleep.
Of course, it's probably not the most shocking news in the world that sex leads to sounder sleep than, say, a Netflix binge. But there's an important caveat to the researchers' data — all partners involved have to have an orgasm to reap the benefits.
Michele Lastella, PhD, a sleep scientist at Central Queensland University in Adelaide, Australia, told Adelaide Now that his latest survey suggested people put down their phones and focus on their sexual pleasure before going to sleep.
Lastella and his team surveyed 460 people between the ages of 18 and 70 about their sexual habits and how well they sleep. They found a correlation between the people who say they have sex that leads to an orgasm right before bed and the people who reported better sleep. About 64% of their respondents said they slept better after having an orgasm, Lastella told Adelaide Now.
It makes sense, especially considering the behavior many of us would otherwise be doing before bed — scrolling through our social media feeds or watching "just one more episode." Research has suggested again and again that spending time on technology before bed could be ruining our sleep. Not only does the blue light emitted by smartphones, laptops, and other devices essentially trick your body into believing it should still be awake, but research has also found that the distraction social media provides can also cause people to get less sleep. That lines up with Lastella's theory about people who replace time on their smartphones with time getting down with their partners or themselves.
"When you’re engaging in sex, you’re not thinking about what to do the next day, you’re not going through your phones," Lastella said. "It distracts you."
It's not to difficult to imagine that sex could also lead to exhaustion, which would also help people fall asleep faster, and Lastella and his colleagues theorize that there's something else about an orgasm that would improve their subjects' sleep lives. They started this survey about a year ago, to see how a hormone called oxytocin (also referred to as "the love hormone") affected the way people sleep.
Some research suggests that when someone has an orgasm, their body releases a wave of oxytocin. "This hormone among many other feel-good hormones has been said to act as a sedative to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep," Lastella said when the project was announced.
Whether or not that's true, it's not difficult to imagine that having an orgasm before bed could help you fall asleep quicker, and sleep better. After all, it's certainly more relaxing than reading or watching the news lately.
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