Better Sleep and Exercise, Better Sex? Maybe

If your partner wants to sleep in, at least one study shows you should let her/him.

A study featured in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that extra sleep can lead to more frequent and/or more satisfying sex. The researchers recruited 171 female college students to complete questionnaires about depression, anxiety, and sexual distress. Every morning for two weeks, each woman would complete a questionnaire that aimed to cover the previous 24 hours, with a focus on sexual function and sleep quality.

The study suggested that among women in a romantic relationship*, each extra hour of sleep corresponded to a higher level of sexual desire, and a 14% increase in the chance that the woman would have sex later on that day. More than just quantity, though, women who slept for longer on average reported a higher level of self-lubrication during sex.

Of course, sleep is not going to solve all problems. An extra hour of sleep won’t magically cure depression or anxiety. If you’re having some sexual dysfunction, it’s a worthwhile place to start, but don’t be afraid to visit your doctor. It’s not uncommon, and there are options.

* Of the women surveyed, 95.57% reported that they were heterosexual or mostly heterosexual, 1.75% reported that they were bisexual, and 4.68% reported that they were homosexual or mostly homosexual.

Sleep can do the job. But have you ever tried to exercise to make your sex life better?

It’s certainly no secret that physical fitness is a key part of living a long and healthy life. What you may not know is that exercise can actually help improve your sex life, for both men and women. Here’s how:

  1. Blood flow: Exercise – particularly cardiovascular exercise – gets your heart pumping faster. Adequate blood flow is necessary for arousal. For men, it helps build and maintain an erection. For women, it helps the vagina create its natural lubricant. Regular cardio improves your heart function, making these processes more efficient.

  2. Stamina: Particularly true with the newly popular High-Intensity Interval Training methods, you’ll see a great improvement in your stamina when you begin to work out regularly. As your heart and other muscles become stronger, and your breathing regulates, you’ll be able to last longer both at the gym and in bed.

  3. Flexibility: Yoga, pilates, and even a good post-workout stretch can help increase your flexibility. The more flexible you are, the more positions are open to you and your lover.

  4. Strength: Much like flexibility, strength can really help you when trying new positions. Plus, muscle strengthening has been linked to longer, stronger orgasms!

  5. Self Confidence: Exercise releases a cocktail of feel-good chemicals into the brain. Plus, the more you work on a skill, the better you get, and when you get better at something, it just feels good.

Exercises for Better Sex

If you’re seeking stamina in the bedroom, then cardio workouts may be the way to go. With a reputation for increasing stamina, regular cardio routines may soon translate to longer, more intense lovemaking sessions. Cardio workouts are also known for heightening energy levels, controlled heart rate and increasing blood circulation, which will follow through into the bedroom.

An increase in cardiovascular exercise is also linked to a decrease in the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Yet another reason to get that blood flowing!

Recommended Activities: A brisk walk, jogging, swimming, biking.

Strength Training

Are you a fan of the missionary position? How about doggy style or poses that involve propping your partner up? If so, then strength training is a good call.

By strengthening your body and building muscle you’ll be much better equipped for any position that involves supporting your own body weight or that of your partner’s. Strength training in men also increases their testosterone levels, which boosts the sex drive.

Women should also be pumping iron, as various sources have reported that strength training could lead to higher arousal and more intense orgasms in women too. This could, in part, also be due to testosterone, but self-esteem also seems to play a role. ‘Being physically active seems to be a potent aphrodisiac for women’ says associate professor Tina M. Penhollow.

In fact, Penhollow has found that any form of consistent exercise (and physical fitness enhancement) can lead to a more positive view of one’s self which, in turn, leads to increased sexual satisfaction. Yet another lesson in the power of self-love.

Recommended Activities: Dumbbells, Kettlebells, body weight training.


Originating from the same country that gave us Tantra, is it any surprise that Yoga has potent sexual applications.

Balance, flexibility, increased blood flow, and a greater sense of well-being; yoga fosters a number of traits which also have applications in the bedroom and improving your sex life. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s the connection between the mind and body that makes yoga such a potent tool for erotic activities. ‘Yoga really increases connection to the body’, says Rachel Allyn, Ph.D., ‘And we’re often very disconnected from our bodies and very much in our heads’.

Focusing in on the breath, how your body feels when you move, and the changes that occur when your partner caresses your skin are all good ways to utilize yoga for an enlightening sexual experience (there are also several poses which can help make certain sex poses more accessible too).

Recommended Activities: Yogic breathing exercises, Child’s Pose, Downward Dog.

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Get Physical!

Of course, these are just a few examples of how exercise can benefit your sex life. The truth is the massive changes in attitude, diet and overall self-esteem that exercise causes can have a profound effect on all aspects of your life.

So whether you use sex as motivation for exercising or exercise as a motivation for sex do consider bringing some get up and go into your life. You might be surprised by just how profound the results can be.

Of course, it’s important to find something that you enjoy and something that feels good for your body. Don’t push yourself too hard – a sports injury can prevent you from exercising and spending time between the sheets.

Written by

Emmeline Peaches

Guest Blogger

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