Women who want to improve their sex life may want to get more shuteye, or so says a new study that suggests each additional hour of sleep increased by 14 percent the chances a woman would have sex with her partner the next day.
“Our study showed good sleep is important for healthy sexual desire and arousal in women, even when women are psychiatrically and medically healthy,” said David Kalmbach, a researcher at the University of Michigan Sleep and Circadian Research Laboratory and study author.
For the study, published online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers evaluated 171 college-age women who kept sleep diaries for 14 consecutive days and reported whether they engaged in sexual activity the next day. Longer sleep time was linked with greater sexual desire the following day. Women with longer average sleep duration said they had better genital arousal than women with shorter sleep time. The women reported sleeping 7 hours, 22 minutes, on average.
There have been other studies that concluded short sleep time and poor sleep quality lead to reduced female sexual response, but those studies have looked at just one time point. “These findings suggest that taking a closer look at sleep health in women with sexual complaints is a worthwhile endeavor,” Kalmbach said, “as poor sleep may lead to sexual problems.”
Researchers don’t know how lack of sleep affects sexual desire, but Kalmbach said it’s not simply due to changes in mood. “Some previous studies have hypothesized that sleep can affect hormone levels, which may cause changes in desire and arousal. But more research is needed in this area to identify the underlying mechanisms more confidently,” he said. “The message is that sleep health is important for many areas of our daily living. Good sleep has been shown to improve mood, energy, concentration, overall health and, now, sexual desire and arousal.”
Though the study doesn’t prove cause-and-effect, Kalmbach offered this advice: “If there’s anything women or their partners can do to help promote good sleep for one another, whether it’s helping out around the house to reduce workload, planning romantic getaways or just practicing good sleep hygiene, it could help protect against having problems in the bedroom.”