Better Than Sleeping Pills – Researchers Uncover a Surprisingly Effective Sleep Aid


Couple Sleeping in Bed

A recent study found that 75% of adults sleep better after sex, with many comparing the sleep improvement to the effect of a sleeping pill. The researchers highlighted this area as largely unexplored and suggested future investigations into whether this sleep improvement stems from the physiological process of orgasm or from the meaningful connection between partners.

After engaging in sexual activity, the majority of adults reported experiencing improved sleep.

Research recently presented the SLEEP 2023 annual meeting discovered that three-quarters of adults indicated improved sleep after sexual activity, with most participants noting that the impact of sleeping pills on their sleep was equal to or less beneficial than sex.

The survey outcomes demonstrated that three-quarters of the respondents experienced enhanced sleep when engaging in sexual activity before bed, with most observing a moderate betterment in their sleep during those nights. Moreover, 64% of participants concluded that the effect of sleeping pills on their sleep was comparable to or not as advantageous as that of sex.

“Little scientific data exists around the impact of sex and orgasm on sleep quality,” said lead author Dr. Douglas Kirsch, medical director of sleep medicine at Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina. “While this data is quite preliminary, it was interesting how often sex was used to aid in sleep.”

The study involved 53 adults who completed an eight-question online survey that was shared on social media. Eighty-nine percent of respondents were between the ages of 25 and 49 years, and 53% were female.

According to Kirsch and co-author Dr. Seema Khosla, medical director of the North Dakota Center for Sleep in Fargo, films and books have commonly suggested that people fall asleep faster after sexual activity. However, little research has explored this association, and additional questions need to be answered.

Kirsch stated that he is curious to know if the impact of sex on sleep is primarily a physiological process related to orgasm. If not, then he wonders if similar results could be derived after meaningful connections between partners without sex.

“This preliminary data starts a conversation about a mostly unexplored area around sex and insomnia,” said Khosla.

Reference: “How Well Does Sexual Activity Improve Sleep When Compared With Pharmacologic Sleep Aids?” by Douglas Kirsch and Seema Khosla, 29 May 2023, SLEEP.
DOI: 10.1093/sleep/zsad077.0405


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