As modern women, we are legitimately sexual creatures who deserve sexual satisfaction in our lives — which is why any sign of dysfunction can feel absolutely infuriating. Is low desire and difficulty becoming aroused a medical problem? Is it from psychological baggage? A new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine provides new hope for a simpler fix: women who get more sleep have more interest in sex than women who are sleep-deprived, so a livelier sex life could be as simple as hitting the hay a little earlier.
When researchers tracked 171 sexually active female subjects daily for two weeks, they found that "each additional hour of sleep increased the likelihood of sex with a partner by 14 percent, and that vaginal arousal was also improved among women who slept longer on average." Although Americans get more sleep than they think they do, it's probably not distributed evenly across your week, so you can at least use this info to avoid tired Friday night encounters and shoot for Saturday ones when you've at least had a chance to sleep in.
Plenty of evidence suggests that, in general, human men have stronger sex drives than women. Of course, some individual couples will struggle with a sex discrepancy in the other gender direction (like when a sex life starts to fade and it turns out it's because the guy is watching too much porn or is depressed). However it's not surprising to find that, at the margin, the gender that is somewhat less interested in sex in the first place (women) would be more affected in practice by reduced sleep than the gender that is highly sex-motivated (men).
But strangely enough, sleep deprivation does seem to affect men's sex drives in another way: tired men misunderstand women's sexual interest. As reported in the journal SLEEP a couple of years ago, researchers from Hendrix College in Arkansas found that sleep-deprived men gave higher (and inaccurate) likelihood ratings for questions like "When a woman goes out to a bar, how likely is it that she is interested in finding someone to have sex with that night?" Which, I suppose, isn't that surprising. When you're sleep deprived, it affects your frontal lobe — the seat of "risk-taking sensitivity, moral reasoning and inhibition." In other words, sleep-deprived humans are much worse at making choices.
Basically the bottom line here is clear: Everyone is at their best when they've gotten enough sleep, men and women alike. Don't fall into the "busy trap" or let the "sleep shamers" get to you: Human bodies need sleep to function properly, from your brain right down into your junk.
Image: bonninturina/Fotolia, Giphy