In a perfect world, you’d never have to choose between sleep and sex. But in the overloaded day-to-day reality most of us actually live in, sometimes you do have to decide between getting eight hours of Z’s or getting some action (and waking up tired and groggy). So next time you’re weighing those options, know this: A large new study found that not getting enough sleep can make sex significantly less satisfying.
Researchers analyzed data for 93,668 women ages 50 to 79 and found that sleeping for fewer than seven hours a night was clearly associated with a lower-quality sex life. The article published by The North American Menopause Society didn’t specify whether the women had less sex because they were too tired, their sex drives were diminished or if they simply found sex to be less satisfying.
While the study did focus on older women, and their ages combined with the hormonal changes of menopause probably contributed to changes in sleep patterns, let’s be real: Exhaustion is a mood-killer no matter what age you are. Who wants to have a morning quickie or an end-of-day romp when the pillow is calling your name?
Allow this to serve as a reminder, ladies. While sex (in addition to its reproductive function) is one of life’s perks and pleasures, sleep is one of life’s basic necessities. So if you suspect that a waning sex life could be tied to exhaustion, train yourself to become a napper, move your bedtime up a little or start a soothing pre-sleep ritual with chamomile tea and journaling. Among many other negative health effects, it’s now proven that if you’re not getting any sleep, you’re probably not going to be getting any between the sheets, either.