Women – Sex & Sleep


A good night’s sleep may be important for a woman’s sex life, a small study suggests.

Researchers recruited 171 female college students, who completed well-validated questionnaires about sexual distress, depression and anxiety. Then every morning for the next two weeks, the study participants completed questionnaires on sexual function over the past 24 hours and sleep quality the night before, including how long it took to fall asleep and total sleep time. The study is online in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

In women who were in romantic relationships, each extra hour of sleep corresponded to higher levels of sexual desire, and a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of sexual activity the next day. Women with longer average sleep duration reported greater vaginal lubrication during sex than those with shorter average sleep.

These effects persisted even after controlling for age, sexual distress, daytime feelings of happiness or sadness, fatigue and the presence of menstruation.

“Getting more sleep should not be expected to magically fix all sexual problems,” said the lead author, David A. Kalmbach, a postdoctoral resident at the University of Michigan.

“Sexual problems often have multiple contributing factors, including mood, relationship quality, partner availability and, now we know, sleep health. I think it is important for women and health care professionals to be mindful of the relationship between sleep and sexual response.”