Lack of sleep nearly doubles risk of sexual dysfunction, concludes Mayo Clinic study

Credit: Nautiluz56/Thinkstock
Credit: Nautiluz56/Thinkstock

Consistently getting a bad night’s sleep may lead to an unsatisfactory sex life for many older women, a new study finds. 

In fact, women who slept poorly were nearly twice as likely to report issues such as lack of sexual interest or pleasure than women who got plenty of shut-eye, according to the study published [April 19] in Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society.

In contrast, the study also found that good sleep quality was linked with having more sexual activity, a result that “doesn’t surprise anyone, right?” said senior author Dr. Stephanie Faubion, who directs the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Women’s Health.


“If you put a platter of sleep and a platter of sex in front of a tired woman, she’s going to pick sleep every time,” said Faubion.

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Orgasms are not only relaxing, which can promote slumber, but they result in a boost of certain hormones that aid sleep in both men and women after sex.

In women, for example, estrogen levels increase after orgasm, and that can enhance REM cycles and promote a better night’s sleep.

In men, orgasm increases production of a hormone called prolactin that promotes deep wave sleep — the type the body needs to repair and restore itself.


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