New Survey Suggests Sex Works Just as Well as a Sleeping Pill

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Sex could be better than a sleeping pill 1

It’s time to ditch taking the melatonin on your bedside table and focus instead on becoming more intimate with your partner. 

A new survey created by the journal Sleep was presented during an annual conference known as SLEEP 2024, in Indianapolis this month. The result of the research survey showed that three out of four adults had a much better night’s rest after sex. The adults even admitted that the sex even worked better than taking a sleeping pill

Dr. Shelby Harris, the director of sleep health at Sleepopolis, said sex can be beneficial to sleep quality as it reduces stress and can help fall asleep faster at night. 

“Sex can oftentimes improve your sleep quality, reduce stress, and help you fall asleep faster at night- as long as it’s not interfering with your sleep and you are getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night for adults,” Harris said. 

If you have tried every DIY hack in the book, from a “Sleep Girl Mocktail” to chamomile tea, it’s time to just go back to the basics and focus on your sex life a little more. 

The Study

In the study, 53 adult participants, 89 percent of them between 23 and 49 years old, were asked to answer an online survey with eight questions. 

The results of the survey showed 75 percent of the participants said they slept better when they had sex right before they hit the pillowcase. Also, some even reported that sex didn’t just help them fall asleep, but also improved their quality of sleep. 

And 64 percent of the participants felt that sex before sleep is the equivalent to taking a sleep pill. They admitted that it didn’t work better than a sleeping pill. Instead, they said sex worked just as well as a sleeping pill or even better. 

Dr. Douglas Kirsch, the medical director of sleep medicine at Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina, told attendees at the conference there is only a little data on the relationship between sex and sleep, but would be an interesting topic to look into more. 

“Little scientific data exists around the impact of sex and orgasm on sleep quality,” Kirsh said. “While this data is quite preliminary, it was interesting how often sex was used to aid in sleep.”

Some Benefits of Sex before Sleep

Sex is not only good for the health of your relationship, but some of its benefits can help you get the rest you need to function properly throughout the day. 

The most important and straightforward benefit is that sex will overall improve your sleep. After sex, your body produces the hormone prolactin, which relaxes you. A past research study shows that prolactin is 400 percent greater in men and women following sex. 

Another hormone your body produces after sex is oxytocin which can help strengthen the sexual bond between you and your partner. While sex increases some beneficial hormones, it also decreases the ones that might impact our sleep such as the stress hormone, cortisol. Women’s estrogen levels increase, leading them to have a deeper REM sleep

A recent study conducted in Canada confirms the benefits of sex for sleep. In a recent study at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, researchers said that sex could be potential substitute to existing approaches for combating insomnia.

Sex Before Sleep Talk on Social Media 

As more data is released, more and more people are intrigued by the idea of sex before sleep, especially on social media. 

Dr. Kasenene, author of “Eat Your Way to Wellness,” talks about all things sex on his recent May Twitter post highlighting that sleep “improves sleep” along with “reduces pain” and “enhances immunity.” 

Also, during NoNutNovember, AASECT certified sex educator, Elle Stanger, posted on her Twitter account that hopping on that social media phenomenon might not be the most healthy. 

“During #NoNutNovember keep in mind that ejaculation is a way to prevent prostate disease, and also helps regulate sleep and mood,” Stanger said. 

Now, it’s time to make sex before bed a priority not only to foster a deeper connection with your partner but to embrace a rejuvenating night’s sleep. 

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  • Rackal Y. Why doesn’t sleep advice talk about sex?. CMAJ. 2021;193(11):E384-E385. doi:10.1503/cmaj.1095926

Ava Girardi

Ava Girardi

Ava Girardi is an Editorial News Intern for Sleepopolis. She loves writing about all things sleep from viral bedtime routines on TikTok to studies on sleep quality that will help you get the most helpful information to achieve that perfect bedtime routine. Ava is currently studying at Elon University where she is a double major in journalism and media analytics. When she is not writing, Ava is spending time with friends or family, running, or trying new yummy foods.

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