How Sleep Could Affect Your Sex Life

Adequate sleep may boost libido in women

Ladies, the treatment for a poor sex life could be as simple as spending more time in bed — spending more time sleeping, that is.

A new study found that getting a good night's sleep may be crucial to a healthy sex life for women.

When the 171 women in this study got an extra hour of sleep, they were 14 percent more likely to have sex the next day, according to study author Dr. David A. Kalmbach, of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan.

“There hasn't been much research on the intersection between sleep health and sexual response, so it's something I've wanted to investigate for quite some time,” Dr. Kalmbach said in an interview with dailyRx News.

There were conflicting results on how much sleep produced more genital arousal. Some women reported genital arousal after getting a poor night's sleep. Others reported genital arousal after a good night's sleep. Dr. Kalmbach said the relationship between sleep and arousal was not simple.

“I think further research is necessary to really unpack these relationships between genital arousal and sleep length," he said. "But it's possible that these differential effects may reflect the differences between a single night of insufficient sleep versus chronic sleep deprivation."

Dr. Kalmbach said there is no optimal amount of sleep for women. Many people need somewhere between seven and nine hours, he said.

“I think the take-home message should be that good sleep health is important for female sexual functioning," Dr. Kalmbach said. "However, it is important to understand that sexual functioning is complex, and has many influences.”

Good sleep is not likely the magic fix-all for sexual difficulties, Dr. Kalmbach noted.

“Happiness, relationship satisfaction, overall physical health and a number of other factors contribute to sexual desire and arousal," he said. "Now sleep is just another piece of this complicated puzzle."

This study was published March 16 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. The authors disclosed no funding sources or conflicts of interest.