Morning Sex Is Good For Your Health. Here's How To Make It Happen
In honor of daylight savings, allow me to suggest one potential way to really reap the benefits of that extra hour: a little morning romp in the sack.
It can be hard to squeeze in most mornings, but there are plenty of reasons morning sex is a totally worthwhile use of your time. For those of you not already enjoying the boost that comes from starting your day off with some intimate connection with your partner, here are some of morning sex's surprising health benefits that may convince you to start:
1. It starts your day in a better mood and with less stress.
Pleasurable activity, including sex, is a proven stress reducer. It results in the release of oxytocin1 (the bonding hormone), dopamine (the feel-good neurotransmitter), and endorphins (the same ones that give you that positive glow post-workout). All this blood chemistry can make a difference. You can start your day calmer, happier, more relaxed, and feeling more connected to your partner.
2. Hormones are working in your favor.
You might just have an easier time getting aroused in the morning than you do at night, thanks to your hormones. Men tend to have higher levels of testosterone in the morning. This can increase their libido, their arousal level, and potentially the degree of their erection. Women tend to have higher levels of estrogen, also related to their libido2. It makes sense to capitalize on nature's help and use those hormonal increases to enjoy sex together.
3. It's a good workout.
Sex is a form of exercise, burning roughly five calories a minute. Starting your day with a workout is a good way to awaken and feel energetic. You can think of it as being a double whammy for your heart: a nice bit of cardio and an investment in your love relationship. Morning sex can also enhance your levels of IgA, a protective antibody, especially if you have sex more frequently.
4. It's a great way to freshen up.
Morning sex makes for a good skin care routine. Research shows that sex makes you look younger. Orgasm produces estrogen3 in women, which is good for the skin. Blood flow is increased, as are levels of DHEA, an anti-aging hormone. Both of these effects benefit your complexion. Sex also causes the release of the human growth hormone, which can make the skin look more elastic, among other biological reactions.
5. It's a sign of commitment to your relationship.
Many people leave sex to the end of the day when they have nothing left in the tank. That exhaustion and fatigue can lead to neglect and avoidance in your sex life. Having sex in the morning allows you to tap into a fresh fuel tank. It also demonstrates that your sex life matters; putting it first means it is a priority in your life.
How to make it happen.
I get it—squeezing morning sex into your schedule can feel daunting or even impossible. And if time's not the problem, there are a slew of other factors that can make morning sex feel unappealing—it's too early to "be in the mood," you're worried about bad breath or not looking your best, or it just doesn't "feel sexy." But if the advantages described above sound intriguing to you, here are a few ways to get around those common concerns:
1. Get up just a bit earlier.
Sleep is important, but so is sex. Prioritize both by heading to bed early enough to get a good night's rest. Then set the alarm just a bit earlier to allow time to be physically intimate with your partner. This could be a good excuse to examine how you're spending your evenings and eliminating the time wasters that so many of us have. With a focus on healthy sleep, you may find yourself more able to rise easily in the morning to enjoy a sexual encounter. This is even easier on the weekends or days off when you aren't rushed for work.
2. It's OK to get up to pee and brush your teeth.
Many people hesitate to be sexual in the morning because they're worried about their morning breath or their bed head. Nothing says you have to start the moment you open your eyes. Feel free to get up to use the restroom, brush your teeth, and brush your hair. You can climb back into bed feeling more comfortable and ready to engage. (And just remember, that morning light can be pretty flattering, by the way.)
3. Give yourself time to wake up and get going.
If you tend to be very sleepy in the morning, you may be less sexually responsive than you may be at other times of day. Give yourself permission to take your time and ease into sex. Start slowly and let your arousal build. Enjoy the tender touch and connection. Go ahead and take it easy, choosing stimulation and positions that suit your energy level. Sometimes lazy sex is the best sex, and mornings are an optimal time to explore a more relaxed style of intimacy.
4. Rethink what counts as sex.
Having sex does not need to mean that you have intercourse or whatever it is you do that usually means sex to you. Sex can be any physical expression based in a desire for pleasure and connection. Whatever touch you share with your partner is a win. Explore a multitude of ways to share pleasure, and enjoy whatever happens. While orgasm is nice to experience, it's OK if you don't get that turned on and decide to stop before you get there.
Sex is a healthy activity at all times, but morning sex can be especially beneficial. Give it a try, and see if there's a way to make it a regular part of your intimate life. It doesn't have to be every morning, but it's worth having on the menu for when the mood strikes and the clock is generous.
Jessa Zimmerman, M.A. is an AASECT-certified sex therapist, licensed couples’ counselor, author of Sex Without Stress, and the host of the Better Sex Podcast. She holds a bachelor's from Cornell University, a master’s in Psychology from Saybrook University, and has completed a certificate in Sex Therapy from the University of Michigan. She specializes in helping couples who have a good relationship but are avoiding sex because it’s become stressful, negative, disappointing, or pressured. She educates, coaches, and supports people as they go through her nine-phase experiential process which gives them real world practice in changing their relationship and sex life.