A good night’s sleep makes for better sex for women

By Bettyjoe Cooper

Those that have used the phrase “not now, honey, I’m too tired” to avoid sex may finally be vindicated. New research surveying more than 93,000 women has found that sexual appetite increases with better sleep.

And lower satisfaction comes from those who reported being tired. The study analysed data from women aged 50-79. The researchers, from the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), say the results show the link between sleep, increased insomnia symptoms and decreased sexual function in postmenopausal women.

Some 56 per cent of the participants reported being “somewhat” or “very satisfied” with their sexual activity. And 52 per cent reported partnered sexual activity within the last year. About a third of the group reported insomnia symptoms, known to be a factor in menopause which can lead to high blood pressure and depression.

The relationship between sleep quality, length and sexual satisfaction remained, allowing for other causes of sleep disorder. Sleep deprivation may have led to the women’s decreased enjoyment levels of sex, but it was not found to reduce the frequency of sex with a partner.

The chronic nature of insomnia means women may continue with their daily routine, including sexual activity. But their perception of satisfaction may dull due to lack of sleep, the researchers found.

Dr Pinkerton, the NAMS executive director, said: “There are effective treatment options to help with sleep disruption and sexual satisfaction, including hormone therapy, which this study confirmed to be effective at menopause for symptomatic women. Women and healthcare providers need to recognise the link between menopause symptoms and inadequate sleep and their effects on sexual satisfaction.”

There was a variance across age groups in the relationship between sexual pleasure and sleep levels. For instance, older women that slept fewer than seven to eight hours were less likely to be sexually active compared with younger women. And women over 70 who slept fewer than five hours were 30 per cent less likely to be sexually active than those sleeping for more than seven hours.

Sleep problems can increase with age, but a University of North Carolina study found that Flibanserin (or “Viagra for women”) can stimulate libido.

Separate research found that men over 65 should consider hormone replacement therapy. A trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that testosterone treatments led to higher sexual function and better moods in older men with low testosterone levels.

Dim lights can create a seductive environment for many. But bright lighting may help men to perform better sexually as it can boost testosterone levels.

• Bettyjoe Cooper is a self-published author and the founder of Brand New Mattress Company, a retailer of bedding products located in Nassau.


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