Want to have better sex? Sleep for an hour longer each night, say scientists

Scientists say an hour extra sleep could enhance a woman's sex life

A new study could have a simple answer to enhancing your sex life – just get a good night’s sleep (if you are a woman at least).

A study conducted by a team at the University of Michigan Sleep and Circadian Research Laboratory found women who get an extra hour of sleep at night reported higher levels of sexual desire and were more likely to have sex with their partners.

Researchers evaluated 171 female participants selected from a university setting who filled in online surveys for two weeks. They were asked to answer questions about how much sleep they had, sleep quality, levels of arousal and whether they had engaged in sexual activity within the previous 24 hours.

The team found women in relationships who slept for an hour longer reported higher levels of sexual desire and were 14 per cent more likely to have sex with their partner the next day.

Women who slept for longer on average also reported greater vaginal lubrication during sex in comparison with women who had less sleep.

Both of these effects were present even after factors such as tiredness, age and feelings of happiness or sadness in the day were taken into account.

“Our study showed that good sleep is important for healthy sexual desire and arousal in women, even when women are mentally and medically healthy," lead author David Kalmbach told WebMD.

"I think these findings suggest that taking a closer look at sleep health in women with sexual complaints is a worthwhile endeavour," Mr Kalmbach added, "as poor sleep may lead to sexual problems."

"Some previous studies have hypothesized that sleep can affect hormone levels, which may cause changes in desire and arousal. But I think overall, more research is needed in this area to identify the underlying mechanisms more confidently."

The study, The Impact of Sleep on Female Sexual Response and Behaviour, was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine on 16 March.

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