We want it, we crave it, we obsess over it. Sleep is a high priority for parents as we get such precious little of it. But, here’s a tip you and your partner will probably both be happy to hear: If you’re having trouble succumbing to sleep even when you do get to lay down, you might want to try... getting laid. As Australian sleep researcher Dr. Michele Lastella determined with a survey of hundreds of adults, people sleep better after having sex.
“What we found was 64% of our respondents indicated they slept better when sex was with a partner and it involves an orgasm,” he told Adelaide Now.
Lastella’s research is part of a project evaluating the use of sex as sleep therapy. He found that when people but their phones away and instead make time for some nighttime intimacy, sleep quality improves drastically. “When you’re engaging in sex, you’re not thinking about what to do the next day, you’re not going through your phones. It distracts you,” he said.
But, of course when you have kids, the phones are not the only things that distract you. It can be hard for parents to find the right time and place to connect at night—and, even then, it may not be a top priority.
According to a survey of new parents conducted earlier this year, 34% said sleep is what they miss the most about their pre-child life, while just 17% miss “romantic time” the most.
The lack of concern over time for sex makes sense. Hormone levels in mothers and fathers change with parenthood. And, according to anthropologists at the University of Notre Dame, when new dads experience testosterone dips, they report lower frequencies of sex with their partners.
The research also suggests co-sleeping can impact hormone levels in parents, not to mention the logistical challenges it poses with nighttime romance.
Parents may want to give it a shot though, because the average parent is getting way less sleep than they need. But, as the Australian survey shows, both the 34% of parents who miss sleep and the 17% who miss romance may find themselves happier if they engage in a little intimacy before bed.