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Sleep deprivation disastrous for your sex life: ‘Consider sleeping separately in a relationship’

Our sleep is sacred, we always long for more. But it also has an important role in our relationships, research shows. A lack of sleep is disastrous, also for sex. And while there’s quite a stigma surrounding it, sleeping separately can actually extend your sex life with your partner.

Behavioral scientists and author Dr. Wendy Troxel has spent the past fifteen years studying human sleeping habits, including the similarities in couples. She explains to the BBC That sleep deprivation affects a lot of things in your relationship. You become grumpy more quickly, more susceptible to depression, conflicts are lurking, communication suffers and you are less able to show empathy, says the behavioral scientist. By the way, did you know that one week without social media reduces depressive thoughts and feelings?

Sleep before your sex life

Your nightly rest is therefore not only very important for your own health, but also for the health of your relationship. “Good sleep is the new good sex,” says Troxel. According to her, there is a connection between sleep and sexual activity and hormones.

She mentions that research shows that when men are sleep deprived for a number of days, during which they sleep less than five hours a night, this takes away 10 percent of testosterone production. According to Troxel, that 10 percent in testosterone levels is equivalent to ten years of life. Researchers found similar results in women. According to Troxel, other research shows that an extra hour on one ear results in a 14 percent increase in sexual activity for women. In short, sleep is sex.

Sleeping together good or bad for your relationship?

Many couples exhibit a similar sleeping pattern in bed, also known as sleep synchronicity. Troxel and her team investigated the sleep rhythm in couples and 75 percent of this rhythm was synchronized in couples. A fascinating mechanism according to the behavioral scientist. She does emphasize that when you fall in love, you do not automatically get the same perfect sleep rhythm as your partner. On the contrary, other research shows that people sleep worse with each other in a double bed than when they are alone in bed.

Together in one bed means more movement in a small space. But Troxel emphasizes that most couples prefer spending the night together rather than sleeping alone. Nevertheless, the behavioral scientist explains that if you shortchange yourself in your own sleep, for example because your partner moves a lot or snores, you should take this seriously.

Separate beds do not lead to less sex

Sleeping separately can be a solution, but there is a social stigma surrounding it. That while in history sleeping separately was seen as a privilege. In the Victorian era, for example, this was seen as a sign of a higher social class.

According to Troxel, sleeping separately can actually provide outcomes for some couples. You can think of a separate bed in the same room or even different bedrooms. Or you can consider the Scandinavian method, where two single beds are pushed together. As a result, everyone has their own bed, mattress and preference for bedding.

What Troxel wants to make clear is that sleeping separately does not mean that it leads to less intimacy. She explains that the time to “fall asleep” is a precious time of the day. You should cherish that moment, according to Troxel, whether you sleep separately or not.

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Sleep deprivation disastrous for your sex life: ‘Consider sleeping separately in a relationship’

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