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A Sexual Wellness Experts Insight On Why Sex Is Important For Sleep

 

Want to know how sex can impact sleep? We chatted to sexologist Georgia Grace, or you might know her as @gspot._, to chat all things sex and sleep. Heres what she had to say: 

The bedroom: depending on who you’re speaking to, a few things will come to mind… sleep and sex? But it seems that at the moment, anything we do in the bedroom - be it getting sleepy or getting freaky, has changed. In session I’m noticing a few themes affecting the quality of my clients bedtime habits; stress, low desire and lost bids for connection are affecting us all. And whilst you may think sex and sleep are pretty different - there’s a way to improve the quality of both, at the same time! We love a two-birds-one-stone situation. 


But before we jump into bed, does sex actually improve your sleep? 

While there’s not enough clinical evidence to suggest that sex will send you off into a deep sleep, we can turn to the feel good neurochemicals that are released during sex and orgasm that may support a sound slumber: oxytocin and dopamine known as the love and cuddle hormones. They can lead to a feeling of overall wellbeing, comfort and ease. But not all people are drifting off to sleep after sex. Some do identify that after an orgasm they are ready to roll over and pass out, whilst others experience the exact opposite, they’re stimulated, alert and sometimes ready for round two. 


It is a really individual thing - but there’s a lot that everyone can do if you’re wanting a better sleep or sex right now. Let’s break it down.


Stress relief: help!

We are STRESSED! Most people I work with identify that they experience stress on a regular (daily) basis. Because we lead such busy lives, many of my clients say they find it hard to switch off and be present during sex. Stress affects everyone differently, be it physical, emotional, psychological, relational or sexual function. One of the most effective ways to work with stress is a regular mind / body approach whereby you bring awareness to how your body is feeling and what it is that you need. The approach you take to ease stress for a better nights sleep or a more fulfilling sex life will differ from person to person it may be useful to try daily stress management practices, a sensual massage, mindful masturbation practice, or a meditation before bed, a bath with lavender oil or sensually massaging this gentle body oil - you can do any of this with a partner or alone.

Desire: turn yourself on

Desire is at an all time low - with a few years of a pandemic, the dating scene being shot to shit and relationships at their wits end - lots of people have noticed they’re desiring sex less. One of the most common reasons people seek professional support in the sexual health realm is to get help with their libido. The good news: there are some really practical things you can do if you’re feeling a bit lost, confused or have noticed changes in your desire. An important first step is to examine your brakes (things that turn you off) and your accelerators (things that turn you on). More often than not, when you’re experiencing low desire there are far too many brakes present and not enough accelerators. A few common brakes are feeling exhausted, stressed or overwhelmed. When I’m working with clients in session we look at what brakes they can manage and what accelerators they can invite back in - essentially creating the context for desire. Then we look at what they need to bring sex front of mind - this may mean setting aside time to unwind together, taking the pressure off or exploring something new like sensory play with blindfolds. The Shhh Silk Black Silk Filled Eye Mask is great for exploring sensual sensory experience but also doubles for a restful sleep! Win win!


Connection: with your own body or other

Sleep deprivation can have a huge impact on your energy levels, mood and how you show up in your relationship. Whilst the obvious answer may be; get more sleep, I know this is often easier said than done.

A powerful approach to building connection is integrating touch and intimacy as a way to co-regulate. Co-regulation is the way that the nervous system of one individual influences the nervous system of another. It is an interpersonal, neurological and biological process. You’ve probably experienced this if you’ve ever been with someone who’s in a terrible mood and you instantly felt terrible too or when someone who is calm and connected - you feel calm and connected. By regulating your own nervous system, you can support someone else. Take time to co-regulate, this could be sharing a few breaths, asking how each other wants to be touched, a slow and sensual kiss. The human body is a remarkable thing and by using somatic practices like breath, movement, sound, touch or placement of awareness we can do a lot to regulate and connect in with our own bodies and with another. 


So does sex improve sleep? Sex can be good for a restful sleep - but sleep can also be the antidote for a rocking sex life. Shop Sleep at Oz Hair and Beauty today.