Sex, sleep and health are more entwined than doctors and scientists could ever have predicted, according to a new study.

Many sources claim that sleep is the new sex. Couples struggle more to get the sleep they need than they do to find time for physical intimacy. Around 10 percent of Americans struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep. While it may seem odd to choose a few hours of shut-eye over sex, new studies claim that sleep is essential to a satisfying sex life, a strong libido and good overall health.

Sleep: A Couple's Activity

According to recent studies, sleep is more than a thing to do at night. Sleep is usually studied in the context of the individual. However, a couple's sleep habits impact each other in numerous ways. People may be kept awake by a partner snoring or staying up late. The amount of quality sleep you get can predict your emotional stability and even relationship success during daytime hours. Sleep also affects overall health. Even more important, sleep impacts relationships, including one's sex life, in a variety of ways.

Sex, Sleep and Health

Sleep and health have long been linked, so it is no surprise that sleep is also linked to a healthy sex life. Studies have found that women are more likely to have a high physical response to sexual stimuli and even more likely to actually have sex after a good night's sleep. When we don't get enough sleep, it is hard to physically respond to sexual stimuli. In addition, people who are sleep-deprived are often low on energy and not interested in any bedroom activities that don't involve snoring. Sleep is so essential that it is hard to think about anything else when we are lacking it.

Sleep and Hormones

Part of the link between sex and sleep may lie in hormones. Studies have found that men with obstructive sleep apnea have low testosterone. The difference is remarkable, with people who get five hours or less of sleep per night seeing a 15 percent reduction in testosterone levels. Because testosterone is essential to the sex drive in both genders, this may explain why people who lack sleep are simply less interested in sex. Erectile dysfunction is also more common in men who suffer from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.

Imbalances in female hormones such as estrogen have also been linked to a lack of quality sleep. Sleep is incredibly important to the health and sexual function of both genders, so it should be a priority.

There are several indications that modern couples are increasingly choosing sleep over sex. However, it does not have to be this way. Sex, sleep and health are closely intertwined, so choosing quality sleep is essentially choosing good health and an active sex life. It is important to get the sleep you need to function in other areas, including in the area of physical intimacy. Getting a good night's rest is the first step to getting the great health you need to lead a healthy and fulfilling life in all areas.

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