Is sleep deprivation killing your sex drive?
It may be that the reason you’re not ‘up all night’ is because… you’re up all night. New research shows a link between sleep loss and lowered libido, which could explain why lots of us aren’t quite feeling in the mood like we used to!
A lack of sleep lowers your immune system, as your body suffers from a lack of rest and can’t react to external factors as quickly as it does normally. This leaves you feeling not only groggy, but physically makes you more likely to pick up minor bugs, colds and infections that normally you’d fight off in no time at all. Of course, no one’s feeling they’re sexiest when they’re full of cold, so this can act as a swift block to any intimacy.
Interestingly, sleep deprivation leads to a hormone imbalance – and in men, it’s a severe one. A study published in the Journal of the American Media Association found that testosterone levels were reduced dramatically. Men who had five hours (or less) of sleep for just one week had hormone levels of that someone 15 years older than them, which is a drastic reduction. It’s believed that this is partly down to the immune system dip but also associated with reduced overall wellbeing and vigour, which also happens because of poor quality sleep. Testosterone levels reduce between 1-2% annually in adult men, but a week’s sleep deprivation can accelerate this to over 15%!
Libido is normally increased when you’re feeling on a natural high, and so the reduced mood and mental capacity you feel after a few nights of poor or no sleep just isn’t compatible with being ‘in the mood’.
A study of Brits recently found that three quarters of respondents would rather have a good nights’ sleep than indulge in intimacy and intercourse with their partner. Of course, we won’t advise you otherwise, knowing the benefits of proper and thorough rest, but you shouldn’t feel like this all the time.
We firmly recommend that bedrooms are only used for intimacy and sleep, in order to keep the space sacred and (almost) single use. Either way, you should be able to completely relax in your bedroom and find it conducive for play, not work.
There’s no reason that the sexual aspect of your relationship should be ruined by your sleep habits. Instead, seek out practical action to take and start benefitting from the physical, mental and sexual benefits of a good nights’ sleep!