We’ve slept in some strange beds.
My husband, a.ka. Mr. Muscle’s, business took us to Madrid, Spain, for a week. We managed to avoid the austerity protesting. We did not avoid witnessing the horrible effects of 25% unemployment. His iPhone was stolen and there are women selling their wares. Sadly, the sex trade is legal here.
Jet lag reminded me that sleep deprivation is brutal. Sleep isn’t just important it’s crucial. Deep slumber satisfies and replenishes. It’s a reprieve from stress.
Parents of young children will tell you not to underestimate its power.
When Mr. Muscle and I are sleep deprived, one of us gets a little sensitive and the other gets a little cranky. You can imagine the wonderful sexual chemistry this combination produces (*sarcasm*).
There is a correlation between adequate sleep and relationship satisfaction, including sexual satisfaction.
A small 2011 University of Chicago study conducted by Eve Van Cauter, PhD., showed a link between lack of sleep and male testosterone levels. 10 healthy college men, average age of 24, spent three nights sleeping 10 hours. After these three nights, a sample of their blood was drawn for comparison.
Next, they endured 8 nights of sleeping less than 5 hours. After the week of sleep deprivation, their testosterone levels lowered by 10-15 percent!
They self-reported that their mood and vigor dropped a little each day the sleep deprivation progressed. Low testosterone doesn’t just mean low libido and low fertility. Low testosterone can affect muscle and blood platelet health, and energy levels.
It would seem logical to me that if inadequate sleep affects testosterone levels in males, wouldn’t it also affect the levels in females? I have found no study to confirm this, but I think it’s a possibility.
I did find this 2011 female study: According to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (Wendy M. Troxel, PhD.), wives who took longer to fall asleep reported poorer marital interactions the next day.
My sleep deprivation came from travel. But, I know there are those out there running on empty for other reasons.
If we are not careful our lives pick up speed. It accelerates to such a frenzy that we start to skimp on the important stuff (our relationship with God), even the most basic like caring for our bodies and minds. Pick and choose carefully the obligations you cram into your life. Read more about that here: Sole Secret to Libido.
Practical Sleep Tools
Melatonin is available as a vitamin supplement. “Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland in the center of your brain. Melatonin regulates the body’s circadian rhythms. Those are daily rhythms such as your sleep-wake cycle. The levels of melatonin in the blood are highest prior to bedtime.” Please follow this link for more information on Melatonin:
Turn off the TV!!!
Turn off all bright lights 30-60 minutes before you want to be asleep. Melatonin production is slowed when the light is bright. Its highest level of production is in darkness. (Does your brain quit functioning like mine when the sun meets the horizon? Now I know why. Oh, how I curse this time change. I want to go to bed at 5:30.)
Eat a bowl of cereal before bed.
You know the old wives tale about drinking a glass of warm milk before bedtime? Well, it has merit, but is only partially true according to this New York Times article (which cites a number of studies). Milk is full of tryptophan. Tryptophan is also in turkey which is reported to make us sleepy on Thanksgiving day (or is that the football games…?).
The tryptophan in milk cannot cross the brain barrier without the aid of carbohydrate rich foods, like cereal. This is because carbohydrates trigger insulin release. Insulin will carry the tryptophan across the threshold like a young groom carries his bride.
Milk alone won’t do it, that’s why cereal sweetens the deal of sleepiness.
Here’s a special little cycle…have sex to get more sleep, have sleep to get more sex…..The feel good chemicals released during orgasm help promote sleep and a feeling of well being. The feeling of well being/less anxious also promotes sleep. Concerns of our lives can keep our brains in gear and deters sleep. Feeling less anxious allows sleep to overtake us.
Ladies, we know our libido is a delicate wonder. Sleep is just one more factor to keeping the motor purring. In regards to sleep, it’s just as important for BOTH genders. Remember, gettin’ good sleep may help you ‘get it on!’