We human beings are complicated creatures, and science is continually providing new information to help us better understand ourselves. That information can help us better care for ourselves, and by extension, those around us. Science has revealed the true extent of how interconnected we are, both internally and externally. As a result, there has been a gradual shift away from specialization and towards a more holistic approach to healing, and that includes sexual healing.
The effect that our dream lives have on our sex lives is a good example of how interconnected our internal systems are. The results of several scientific studies have demonstrated that getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis is an important prerequisite for having great sex on a regular basis. Continuation of life itself, as well as the quality of that life, depends on it. Both the quantity, and quality, of both men and women’s sex lives can be improved just by getting adequate sleep.
An article in the New York Times points to one such study, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, that focused on women. 171 female college students filled out initial questionnaires asking about sexual anxiety, distress, and depression. For the next two weeks, participants completed daily questionnaires about their quality of sleep and sexual activities during the previous 24 hours. Researchers found that just one extra hour of extra sleep resulted in higher sexual desire, increased vaginal lubrication, and a 14% increase in the likelihood of pleasurable sexual activity. Those results remained the same even with control factors such as age, feelings of sadness, fatigue and menstruation.
Another study conducted at the University of Chicago, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, focused on men. Researchers found that men who slept less than five hours per night for longer than one week had significantly lower levels of testosterone, ten to fifteen percent lower. The lowest levels were recorded between two o’clock in the afternoon and ten o’clock in the evening. For most working men, that would definitely reduce the possibilities for any afternoon, or evening, delight.
Sleep deprivation doesn’t just reduce testosterone levels in men. It can affect sexuality in a number of other ways. It has been said that the brain is our largest sex organ, and a lack of sleep can have a profoundly negative impact on the brain. A 2013 study showed that sleep-deprived men often over-estimated the degree of women’s sexual interest. That could be because sleep deprivation affects the frontal lobe of the brain, which is responsible for impulse control, moral reasoning, and decision-making. In both men and women, changes in brain chemistry caused by sleep deprivation can have a devastating effect on intimate relationships.
There is a clear link between depression and insomnia, although like the chicken and the egg, it remains unclear which comes first. A study that analyzed 20,822 young people confirmed that sleep deprivation causes psychological distress that can be manifested in many ways, including depression. Not only does depression reduce sex drive, but so do many of the anti-depressants commonly used to treat it. While they may help, none is as effective as the oxytocin and other natural anti-depressants released by the body during sex and cuddling. Ironically, sex and cuddling also help people get a better night’s sleep, even if that sex and cuddling is with yourself.
In both men and women, changes in brain chemistry caused by sleep deprivation can have a devastating effect on intimate relationships. Discouraged, many have given up on them altogether. Women whose sex drive, natural vaginal lubrication, and intimate relationships have been affected by sleep deprivation can benefit from masturbation with the use of a lubricant. Men whose sex drive and ability to correctly decipher sexual social cues have been adversely affected by sleep deprivation over a long period of time may need a safe method to get back into practice. The Fifi male masturbator can help.
Besides all the information provided by scientific studies, one of the most important contributions of science has been to help eliminate the shame associated with sexuality. We now know that it’s as natural a part of life as getting a good night’s sleep—and that one requires the other.Back