Sleep & Sex – Is There A Link?

Sleep & Sex – Is There A Link?


By Dr. Virendra Girase, Sexology

Here’s a fact: lack of sleep can drastically affect your sex life, reducing your sex drive to a great extent; and a lack of sex in your relationship can cause serious stress, turning into one of the key factors of personal crisis in a relationship. This is why the value of a good night’s sleep is priceless.

There are a number of reasons why you may lack in sleep. Low energy, restlessness and constant stress in your regular life may lead to a reduction in the number of sleeping hours. So how is this lack of sleep impacting your sex life?

Here are 3 ways how sleep can have dire effects on your sex drive:

1. Reduces testosterone level in men

Men who suffer from sleep-related disorders have lower testosterone levels than other men. Since testosterone plays a key role in a person’s sex drive, lack of sleep can have negative effects on the libido. Men with low testosterone have issues with red blood cells, body fat distribution problems, less sperm production and very low libido.

Sleep deprivation may lower the testosterone level in women also since they produce testosterone (in small amounts) in the adrenal glands and ovaries that help them to keep the sex drive high.

2. Affects vaginal lubrication

Women who get more sleep have better genital stimulation and vaginal lubrication than women who sleep less or suffer from sleep-related disorders. Vaginal lubrication is a key component to pleasurable and pain-free sex whereas vaginal atrophy (vaginal dryness) can lead to painful sexual intercourse. So sleeping more can definitely increase vaginal lubrication.

3. Can cause erectile dysfunction in men and sexual distress in women

Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder causing short pauses in breathing and fragmented sleep, is often diagnosed with erectile dysfunction as well. Patients who are treated for sleep apnea are less likely to have erectile dysfunction and their sex lives improve as well.

Women with sleep apnea to have sexual distress and report of sexual dysfunction in comparison to the general female population.