If you're trying to reignite the fire in your loins, consider going to bed earlier. Seriously. According to a new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, more sleep means better sex — at least for women.
For the study, researchers recruited 171 female college students and found that those who obtained more sleep on a given night experienced greater sexual desire the next day.
Moreover, the sleep/sex relationship appears to be dose-related as an additional hour of sleep increased the likelihood of sexual activity with a partner by 14%.
Sleep was also important for genital arousal, such that women who slept longer on average experienced fewer issues with vaginal lubrication than women who got less sleep.
"The influence of sleep on sexual desire and arousal has received little attention in the field, but these findings indicate that insufficient sleep can decrease sexual desire and arousal for women," said Dr. David Kalmbach, lead author of the study, in a press release.
These effects persisted even after researchers controlled for age, sexual distress, daytime feelings of happiness or sadness, fatigue, and the presence of menstruation.
Of course, Kalmbach said, getting more sleep should not be expected to magically fix all sexual problems. There are multiple factors that contribute to a person's libido — mood, relationship quality, partner availability — and sleep health is just one of them.
But no matter what, sleep is certainly not something to neglect — if you want to be your best mental, emotional, physical, and now, sexual self.
"I think the take-home message should not be that more sleep is better," said Kalmbach, "but that it is important to allow ourselves to obtain the sleep that our mind and body needs."
(h/t The New York Times)