We all know how important sleep is to having general good health. A lack of a proper night's sleep can lead to irritability, mood swings, decrease in concentration patterns and an increased chance of a heart attack and other potentially fatal maladies. But did you know that a lack of sleep can also lead to a lack of sex? That's right, the "honey, I'm tired!" excuse isn't just an excuse! A recent study examining the connection between sleep and sex has shown that women who get more sleep have more sex!

Study Links More Sleep and Sex

The study conducted at the University of Michigan evaluated 171 women over the course of two weeks. Specifically, the scientists were observing the sleep and sexual patterns of these women. The women were asked to keep journals of their sleep for the 14 consecutive days, and they were subsequently asked to report if they engaged in sexual activity the next day. The result? Women who got more sleep had more sex.

“Our study showed that good sleep is important for healthy sexual desire and arousal in women, even when women are psychiatrically and medically healthy,” said study author David Kalmbach. When you get a good night's sleep, said Kalmbach, it's not only your mood that's refreshed, it's your concentration levels and your energy levels, both of which you need in good supply to have a good sex life and a healthy libido. sex, sleep

The study, which was published on March 16 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, showed that the average woman got seven hours and 22 minutes of sleep, and they experienced a higher level of physical arousal after a good night's sleep. Kalmbach explains the link between sleep and sex: “The message,” Kalmbach said, “is that sleep health is important for many areas of our daily living. Good sleep has been shown to improve mood, energy, concentration, overall health and now sexual desire and arousal.”

However, this study isn't flawless. According to Dr. Nathaniel F. Watson, president-elect of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and professor of neurology at the University of Washington in Seattle, while the study does make a good point about the connection between sexual health and sleep duration, it is not the end all be all on the correlation. Watson said this recent study focuses on associations, not causes-and-effects. "You have to be a little bit cautious about drawing any conclusions from this because it is just an association study. I still think the findings are compelling and certainly warrant follow-up with interventional studies," said Watson. Nevertheless, the study does indeed prove that there is a correlation between a good night's sleep and a good night of sex.

Previous, similar studies have suggested that a lack of a good night's sleep can result in drastic hormonal changes, which can also have a negative impact on a person's sex drive (regardless if the person is male or female). It also goes without saying that a person's sex drive will go up significantly if his/her partner makes an effort to help him/her get a good night's sleep by taking away some of life's stressors, such as cleaning the house, planning a "date night," or taking on some of the responsibility of the children. In other words, you and your partner will sleep better if you didn't have to worry about who's going to iron the shirts in the morning!

The take-away message of the study is best summed up by Watson: "You could add it to a long list of reasons why getting a proper amount of sleep is good for your health.”

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