A person’s libido should be naturally active and spontaneous, right? Most people want to believe that their sex drive is so instinctual that it should beat out any other obstacles that might come its way. The truth is that a strong, healthy sex drive depends on quite a number of factors including diet, exercise, and yes – sleep.
Getting good sleep is the best thing you can do to increase your sex drive.
Let’s face it, we are a society of chronic insomniacs. Not only have society’s stress levels continued to rise, but now we keep ourselves awake with hours of computer games, Netflix subscriptions, and social “connectedness.” But all those hours of staying up only serve to chip away at your testosterone production. Since your body can only replenish its reserves by sleeping, when you deprive it of its rest, it starts to take short cuts. In order to deal with the stress, it will increase your cortisol levels and slow down your thyroid, which both end up decreasing testosterone production.
Your tech device is messing with your head, and your sex life.
It’s been clearly demonstrated that the light emitted from televisions, computer screens, and phones will stop the production of melatonin, which is the crucial hormone that humans need in order to sleep well. Without good sleep, your hormones are thrown off balance, and you won’t have the same energy for sex. Keep in mind, even if you are trying to sleep in a bed next to somebody using a phone or computer, or the television is on in that room, your eyes are sensing the blue light and your brain will not produce the melatonin it so desperately needs. You should know that with chronic deprivation of melatonin, the brain can actually stop its normal levels of melatonin production even after you’re no longer exposed to blue light. Your best bet is to turn off all of these devices a few hours before bed, or at least by 10pm.
Snoring is particularly dangerous for your health and your sex life.
When a person snores during sleep, this in an indication of decreased air flow to the lungs. A condition known as sleep apnea refers to when there are pauses in breathing during sleep and is often associated with heavy snoring. These interruptions in breathing result in decreased oxygen to the brain and body and have serious consequences for your cardiovascular system and your brain function. Sleep apnea is a common cause of erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, and heart disease. People with untreated sleep apnea are also at risk for early death, so they should speak with their doctor about it immediately. If you are the partner of someone with sleep apnea or a snorer, you probably aren’t getting good sleep either. It’s not uncommon for people to have their precious sleep interrupted by a snoring partner, or by trying to insure that their partners are still breathing regularly.
Don’t use alcohol to help you sleep.
Too many people get into the habit of having a drink to help them fall asleep. You should know that alcohol will interfere with the deep stages of sleep, so it makes your sleep less restful than it should be. Also, alcohol can worsen snoring and sleep apnea, leading to worsening daytime functioning. Alcohol decreases testosterone levels, promotes cardiovascular disease, and interferes with erectile function. Overall, the effects of alcohol on your sex life are quite negative. Instead, get into a habit of exercising regularly, or even just some quite meditation before going to sleep. Not only will they help your sleep, but work wonderfully for improving your sex life as well.
Dr. Castellanos is a psychiatrist specializing in sex therapy, bio-identical hormones, and functional medicine consultation. You can follow her on Facebook at The Sex MD, and Twitter at @DrCastellanos.