6 Ways to Improve Sleep for Better Sex

Earth-Colored detail of a black girl body lying on a white duvet

Lack of sleep affects your energy, your focus, your general zest for life. But when it comes to sex, sleep problems wreak havoc on your libido. The vibe is less “paint me like one of your French girls” and more “frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” 

Whether it’s just one day of not getting enough zzz’s or chronic insomnia, here’s how bad sleep messes with your sex:

It lowers your testosterone levels.

Yep. You need oxygen to make more testosterone, and chronic sleep problems – like sleep apnea – interfere with that process. Listen to my episode with urologist Dr. Edward Karpman to hear him talk more on this: less testosterone means erection dysfunction, less motivation for sex, and less energy overall.

It makes it harder to get sexually aroused.

Your desire for sex goes way, way down, and in this study, females had less sexual response in their genitals when under slept. 

It fuels conflict in a relationship.

Science has proven you’re more likely to fight if you’re in a couple and one (or both of you) isn’t sleeping.

Want to hear something wild? On any given day, up to 30% of adults are struggling with chronic insomnia. That’s a lot of people not having their best sex…simply because their sleep suffers. 

So let’s look at six strategies to improve your sleep hygiene, for better rest and better sex.

1. Have an orgasm… Alone or with a partner

Did you know that orgasms help you sleep? It’s true. When you have an orgasm, your body releases prolactin: a hormone that promotes sleep and REM sleep cycles. Just remember to use lube, no matter what genitals you’ve got – whether you’re using a toy or a hand, you’re at least 50% more likely to orgasm using lube than not. These days, I’m very into Morgasm’s CBD Arousal Lubricant: what’s so cool about their formula is that they infuse it with both organic CBD (a whopping 250 mg in every tube) and sex-supportive ingredients like L-Arginine, to give you a more intense orgasm. On top of that, their formula helps penis owners last longer while helping vulva owners orgasm faster, since CBD supports muscle relaxation and increased blood flow. Orgasm gap who? It’s also super slippery and toy-safe, and I’ve found that it makes genitals more sensitive to the touch…ooh la la. 

2. Put your devices “to bed” 30 minutes before you 

Your smartphone, tablets, and the rest of your gadgets emit blue light that disrupts your body’s melatonin production: a key hormone that makes you sleepy, and keeps your circadian rhythm in check. Protect your melatonin, put those devices away, and why not meditate-masturbate-manifest instead? Or cuddle (and by cuddle, I mean have sex) with your lover. 

3. Stop napping 

Are you a midday napper? Try seeing what happens when you skip it. Chances are it’ll be much easier to fall asleep, since afternoon and evening naps throw off your body’s internal sleep clock. Here’s an idea: take a minute for some sexy self-care instead, like a soothing bath (to indulge the sleepies without actually sleeping) or a block-walk (to get the blood pumping all over). 

4. Trade your afternoon latte for decaf

Lots of us reach for a 3pm pick-me-up in the form of caffeinated deliciousness. But caffeine is not only a stimulant – it reduces your melatonin, the oh-so-important sleep hormone. Opt for herbal tea or decaf instead.

5. Maintain a regular sleep schedule

Here’s the thing: your body wants to have a regular fall-asleep time, and a regular wake-up time. Experts recommend training your wakefulness patterns by creating a sleep schedule for at least two weeks and sticking to it, even if you don’t immediately fall asleep right away. Extra credit if you go ahead and pencil in a sex date (with yourself or your partner) while you’re at it. 

6. Wear a sleeping mask and use earplugs

Lots of us are more sensitive to stimuli than we realize. So experiment with fully shutting off sight and hearing, with an easy (and cheap) fix: a sleep mask to cover your eyes (I love these), and earplugs (add these to cart) to block nighttime sounds. The result? Less processing for your brain, more sleep for you. 

When you’re sleeping seven to nine hours a night – the amount all of us need for healthy REM cycles and deep, nourishing sleep – your sex drive, mental health, and overall wellness improve dramatically.

So go get some zzz’s to optimize that XXX action… Doctor’s orders.