‘O’ yes! The link between orgasms and sleep

December 1, 2020 5 mins read
‘O’ yes! The link between orgasms and sleep

We’re all about helping you find better ways to get good sleep. And although this might be the most intimate suggestion we’ve delved into thus far, it sure is the most pleasurable way to snag those z’s. ‘O’ yes, it’s an orgasm.

Prioritising a bit of sexual (self) satisfaction before bed improves the quality of your sleep and even dissipates nagging pains that come with ageing bodies. So excuse us as we get down and diddly, and show you (what we think), is our favourite way to turn out the lights.

What is an orgasm, really?

Let’s rewind. Before you can understand why orgasms help you sleep, you first need to understand them.

Orgasms (in the simplest explanation, because let’s be honest there is nothing simple about them) are intense sensations of pleasure associated with (but definitely not limited to) sexual activity.

During an orgasm, you release a cocktail of feel-good chemicals like endorphins, vasopressin, oxytocin (the cuddle hormone), norepinephrine, and serotonin into your bloodstream. As you slip further into pleasure-ville, your senses heighten, increasing blood flow, mainly down there.

When reaching this plateau of pleasure, your muscles start to contract, increasing your heart rate and ending in a rush that allows your body to go into a complete state of relaxation, this becoming your body’s natural remedy for sleep.

Women vs. men

Orgasms for women and men are very similar, but what makes a man more prone to falling asleep is in the way his body reacts to his man-gasm.

During his big O moment, his cocktail of hormones is released through the pleasure gate. One of these hormones is prolactin (also produced by women but in smaller quantities), which is linked to emotions of sexual satisfaction. It’s also a hormone that is present in higher levels during sleep.

So, because prolactin and sleep are firm friends (and because intercourse orgasms release up to four times more prolactin than self-given orgasms), this makes men prone to drifting off faster than women after a rustle in the sheets. But wait there’s more, in addition to prolactin, oxytocin (the “I love you” hormone) and vasopressin are also released during O-momentous occasions.

When a woman has her lady-gasm she produces the same hormone release, with an added bonus of estrogen, which assists in enhancing her REM stages of sleep for a long, peaceful deep sleep. However, because there is no refractory period for women, it can take her longer to fall asleep (especially if she’s left O-less) as her mind is still semi-aroused, which can keep her awake.

4 Benefits of orgasms for sleep

Let’s look at the O-so-amazing reasons that make a nightly climax the perfect partner for good sleep.

1. No more stress

The annoying thing about our minds is that they tend to run rampant when we’re trying to fall asleep. We’re pretty sure you’ve turned to meditation and tried numerous sleep aids to quieten that mind, but maybe it’s time to find your inner zen, through an orgasm.

Orgasms help lower your stress levels (reducing your cortisol production) and give your mind the opportunity to take a chill pill.

2. Natural painkiller

Did you know that endorphins are natural painkillers? And because endorphins are released during your O moment, whatever pain or discomfort you’re feeling slips away. (Which is why “I’ve got a headache” should never be an excuse.)

3. Signals your body for sleep

Never underestimate the power of your brain. It can be trained to overcome anxieties, connect smells to memories, navigate awkward conversations, and learn the signals for sleep.

Yup, mic drop.

Having an orgasm a night can create a behavioural link in your brain to connect the feeling of pleasure to sleep. Interestingly used an alternative method for insomniacs, this sleep method is being added to sleep hygiene routines to prompt the onset of good, quality sleep. (Sign us up!)

Increases deeper sleep

If you’ve suffered from any type of sleep deprivation then you’ll know the annoyances of midnight awakenings with a side of tossing and turning. This is due to interruptions in our non-REM and REM sleep cycles which make up our deepest sleep and are responsible for how we feel the next day. During a lady-gasm, estrogen is released which helps boost the amount of melatonin in our systems, keeping us in a deeper sleep for longer periods.

Can you orgasm in your sleep?

Yes, you most certainly can. Often given a bad rep by being referred to as wet dreams, having an orgasm in your sleep equally common in men and women, as it is in adolescence and during puberty.

Sleep orgasms are a part of being human and are said to be a way of your body relieving tension or experiencing pleasure. They can be brought on by feelings triggered in your dreams as they commonly occur during REM sleep when your body is most relaxed, and when more vivid dreams appear. (We’ll opt for an orgasm over a nightmare any day!)

So, if you’re reading this while you lay in bed worrying about why you can’t sleep, you may just want to give an O a go.