Sufficient Sleep Improves Libido in Women

Decreasing libido, or decreasing sex drive, is a common problem in women. In fact, one estimate is that almost 1/3 of women between ages 18 and 59 suffer from a low sex drive. It’s normal for women to experience fluctuations in libido, and such dips can be caused by anything from stress to changing hormones. But according to a new study, there is a simple way for women to increase their sexual interest: getting more sleep.

Sleep and Sex Drive in Women

According to a recent study, “The Impact of Sleep on Female Sexual Response and Behavior: A Pilot Study”, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine,  there is a link between the amount of sleep and sex drive in women.

The Study: Sleeping Increases Libido

This study involved 171 women attending an American university who were not on anti-depressants. Researchers took initial measurements in a laboratory to determine a baseline. For the next fourteen days, when the women woke up (at their normal times) they answered survey questions delivered through the web.

The surveys covered a number of points regarding their sleep quality, as well as various aspects of sexual function and desire.

In general, the findings showed that longer sleep related to greater sexual desire. Each additional hour equated roughly to a 14% increase in sexual arousal. 

Why does sleep improve sexual desire?

Sexual function and desire is closely linked to the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS causes your body to react to stressors (good or bad). It is well-known that the part of the ANS that reacts to good stimulators plays an important part in sexual arousal.

Sleep is important to a whole cascade of events linked to the proper function of the ANS and hormonal releases. Plus, the part of the ANS that responds to negative triggers, like stress, becomes more sensitive when people do not get enough sleep. 

Therefore, the conclusion that sleep deprivation can trigger a lower sex drive is not surprising. In order to optimalize their sex drive, it is important for women to let themselves get all the sleep they need to be fully rested, mentally and physically. 

Sleep Deprivation and Infertility in Men and Women

There is a strong connection between sex and sleep for both sexes. Poor sleep has a history of causing problems in bed. Couples where one or both partners are sleep deprived experience infertility and may have trouble conceiving. There is a proven connection between sleep disorders and erectile dysfunction in men. Plus, poor sleep can decrease hormone levels in men and women.

To ensure that your sex life is the best that it can be, make sure you’re getting all the sleep your body needs. These sleep guidelines can help you determine how many hours of sleep you should be getting so you can be at your best both in and out of bed!

Take the sleepiness quiz

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Photo Credit (with modifications): Rodrigo Gianesi

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