By Dateline India Syndicate
Sleep may affect a woman’s sexual desire, genital arousal, and likelihood of having partnered sex the following day, according to a recent Journal of Sexual Medicine study.
In fact, if a woman sleeps an hour longer each night, her chances of having sex with a partner the next day increases by 14%, the American research team wrote.
The scientists recruited 171 college-age women (mean age of 20 years) from university psychology classes. Using a variety of baseline assessments, they took note of the women’s relationship histories, use of oral contraceptives, and degree of sex-related personal distress, along with symptoms of depression and anxiety. None of the women had taken an antidepressant in the past month. About half of the women had a regular sexual partner.
For the next two weeks, the women submitted daily morning reports on the following:
- Sleep the night before, including how long it took them to fall asleep, how well they slept, and sleep duration.
- Sexual activity during the previous 24 hours, including masturbation, partnered sex (vaginal, oral, hand, or anal), and levels of desire and arousal.
- Positive or negative affect (degrees of fatigue, happiness, serenity, sadness, hostility, etc.)
The researchers found that longer sleep duration was associated with more sexual desire the following day, higher arousal during sex, and a greater likelihood of having partnered sex, among those with regular sexual partners.
Daytime affect and fatigue did not appear to influence the relationship between sleep and sexual function.
Why did sleep play such a role? The researchers were not certain, but suggested that hormones or sleep disorders might be involved.
They noted several limitations. While a number of conditions can affect sexual function, the women were only screened for depression and anxiety. Also, the researchers did not know what medications the women did or did not take, aside from antidepressants and oral contraceptives.
However, they emphasized the important role of sleep for women’s sexual health.
“Obtaining sufficient sleep is important to the promotion of healthy sexual desire and genital response, as well as the likelihood of engaging in partnered sexual activity,” they concluded.