A Surprising Sleep Secret
If menopause is keeping you awake, you may be looking for a sleep aid. There’s a surprising natural one that may do the trick for you, and it’s much more interesting than white noise, lavender, supplements, or a sleeping masks. It’s sex. Really and truly.
Sexual intercourse at bedtime may help you both fall asleep and stay asleep. And that can be especially helpful during menopause. But how does it work?
Engaging in sexual activity is distracting – in a good way. You’re distracted from the chaos and stresses of life. You aren’t checking email or phone messages. You aren’t watching the news or paying the bills. You’re mind is not on what you need to do tomorrow, grocery shopping, or household chores. Essentially, sex gives you a way to escape from the troubles of life, and that break from day-to-day worries can let you fall asleep once it’s over.
The act of sex is exercise and like any exercise it can be physically exhausting. And like any other exercise, afterward, you can feel sleepy from the exertion. The tiredness combined with some chemicals that are released with sexual activity can let you fall into a relaxing asleep.
Ironically, while sex can be a physically exhausting exercise, it is also relaxing. It helps you unwind and let go of stresses and worries. It also causes a chemical reaction that leaves you feeling calmer and less stressed.
Oxytocin is one of the chemicals affected by intimacy. It’s sometimes called the cuddle or love hormone. Levels increase with intimacy and leave you feeling more connected to your partner. It also creates feelings of pleasure, reduces stress, and can leave you feeling more relaxed and better able to sleep.
Another one of the chemicals released during an orgasm is dopamine. It’s sometimes called the reward hormone and it increases your sense of pleasure. It also plays a role in regulating your sleep cycle.
Menopause can be a stressful time of life, leaving you with an increase in cortisol. This stress hormone has a negative impact on sleep, contributing to your sleep issues. Engaging in satisfying sexual intercourse is one of the ways you can decrease cortisol and in turn get some sleep.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: A Surprising Sleep Secret