Last Updated: June 01, 2018.
Sex is fun. Sex followed by sleep is even better. You may have had times when you feel relaxed and stress-free during and after sexual intercourse. Does that actually translate to better sleep? In short, science says: yes. Our question and this article’s purpose is to understand how. We dive into the specifics of what exactly about sex helps us sleep better.
Sex Improves Your Quality Of Sleep In 5 Ways
A lot of different hormones are released during and after sex. They are responsible for the many different feelings in our body, and each serves an important role to maintain a chemistry balance within us. Let’s go through what each hormone does and how they improve our quality of sleep.
Feel great and sleep well with oxytocin
Oxytocin is known by several names: the “bonding hormone”, the “love and cuddle hormone”, the “feel-good hormone”. Released during sexual intercourse, oxytocin is one of the main hormones that create a feeling of connectedness as well as influence your physical and psychological well-being in a positive manner.
This hormone reduces stress levels and helps with anxiety by reducing blood pressure and cortisol levels. By cutting back on blood pressure and cortisol, we become more relaxed and feel much, much less stressed after sex, which can make for a great slumber. Oxytocin makes great cuddle session post-sex, too. The hormone is also known to curb your appetite!
Evidently, we find oxytocin during stressful times as our body works to reduce stress, anxiety, and depressions. A lot more oxytocin is produced and released when we have sexual intercourse.
Feel relaxed and sleep deeply with prolactin
Aside from oxytocin, prolactin is another well-known hormone that gets released during sex that helps us with having a good night’s sleep.
Prolactin is known as the relaxed and sleepy hormone. It does many things, including regulating behavior, improve your immune system activities, improve your metabolism, fires up your reproductive systems, and many different bodily fluids. Prolactin, it seems, is a crucial hormone for your overall health and well-being.
For women during orgasm, prolactin floodgates open that helps to boost estrogen levels, which promotes the production of collagen that gives you that healthy post-sex glow, and enhances your REM stage. REM stage is short for rapid eye movement and is a necessary process we go through each night for that vital deep sleep.
Pain and stress relief with lots of endorphins
As you stress and pain, your body releases something called endorphins to help reduce the feeling of pain and stress. Endorphins, also released during sex, brings a feeling of euphoria. It makes you feel happy and feel much better mentally. Endorphins also help with managing your appetite, releasing other important sex hormones, and improving your immune system functions.
Like a pain-killer, these hormones immediate reduce tension and anxious feelings you might be having, all the while making you feel good and happy. What better way to fall asleep!
We also find endorphins released during and after exercise. Endorphins help combat the mood and feelings of depression while giving you a much more positive mood and overall sense of well-being.
Less stress means better sleep with reduced cortisol levels
Cortisol is found in all parts of our lives, from waking up… Facing assignments and deadlines… To having tough talks. It’s great to get us going and working productively toward our goals. For sleep, however, it can keep us up at night which can lead to loss of sleep and poor quality of rest.
We mention oxytocin being a key player for reducing of high blood pressure and cortisol levels. High blood pressure occurs when you exercise and stress, but is not good when you have it for long periods of time. Cortisol, on the other hand, increases when we stress. High levels of cortisol for long periods can affect our well-being.
With the release of sex-related hormones during sex and after orgasm, cortisol levels get knocked down by all the other de-stressing hormones to create a calming effect. Less stress also means reduced blood pressure and, more importantly, easier sleep.
Cool, calm, and collected thanks to serotonin
Serotonin is all about feeling good, and we mean really good. This hormone released after orgasm provides a smooth pleasurable sensation for the body, which explains why we feel great after sex. It’s also a precursor of melatonin production, which the key sleep hormone that causes drowsiness.
For men, the combination of serotonin and prolactin flooding the body during orgasm switch off all sexual desire. When you include this effect with the pleasurable sensation, we end up understanding why men roll over and fall asleep after sex. It’s just that good!
Our Final Thoughts
Hormones aside, there are a lot of benefits to sex outside of sleep. The intimacy from being with someone you enjoy, the self-esteem and self-confidence are great. Enjoying sex with your partner can help with your happiness, overall health, and well-being, all the while making sleep much more comfortable and pleasant, too.
There’s no doubt sex is great outside of sleep, and what we aim to do in this article is to better understand what the hormones of sex do to make our sleep much better.