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The Correlation Between Sex and Insomnia

by Grace Sianna
man with insomnia awake in bed in the middle of night

             Insomnia is defined as a habitual sleeplessness or an inability to sleep. Insomnia tends to cause difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep and it could cause unexpected early wake ups, though some only experience one of the two. Other symptoms some may experience are; difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, lower performance in school and work and excessive fatigue.

             Insomnia is at times classified by how long an individual has had the disorder. For example. Acute insomnia is a short lived happening in most everyone’s lives, this specific kind of insomnia is very normal and happens because of stress among other things. On the other end of the spectrum there lies chronic insomnia, this occurs at least three times a week for at least three months. Chronic insomnia can be brought on by several different things, a swift change in environment, a shift in work schedule, psychological disorder and even some medications.


How Insomnia Affects Sex

             When dealing with insomnia a life can turn from a normal day to day thing to a complete mess. Heck, who can function without sleep? Living day to day without proper sleep is extremely damaging to your overall health, but it also can affect your sex life tremendously. If insomnia becomes too out of hand it can take a toll on libido leaving a sex life in what seems like shambles.

man with insomnia sitting on edge of bed while wife sleeps             The reason insomnia takes such a huge toll on sex lives is due to the low energy and fatigue it causes within the body as well as its ability to increase feelings of depression and anxiety. When the body is exhausted and in need of sleep it goes into autopilot mode making day to day activities seemingly impossible; sex is no exception to this, as sex takes up, much physical and mental energy. Not only does the lack of energy caused by insomnia create a divide in one’s sex life it can take a toll on an all-around love life.

             A guy looking to maintain a healthy relationship may find himself in a bind with his insomnia and his partner because the disorder not only takes on him but on his lover. No, it isn’t that they too have insomnia, though that may be the case, it is the fact that his insomnia can very well be affecting the other person’s sleep habits negatively and creating a divide of sorts. In some extreme situations couples end up sleeping in separate rooms over time due to one or both of their insomnia, as you could imagine having a separate sleeping space from your partner would kill your emotional and sex life.


Road to A Better Sex-Life as an Insomniac

             An individual with chronic insomnia can benefit from different forms of treatment that may get them on the right path to healthy sleep patterns, though it will not always be an easy one. Insomnia is known to be comorbid in many cases, meaning it is typically caused or in some way linked to another psychiatric and/or medical condition(s), though it is very hard to understand the direct cause of insomnia. In terms of treatment for insomnia it is important to go through cognitive behavioral, medical or psychological avenues, if necessary any combination of those treatment options work just as well as one if not better.

couple in bed, sex problems, woman disappointed             For starters, getting more sleep and treating insomnia this can lead you down a much happier road when it comes to love and all that coincides. When someone has been treated for insomnia they may see an increase in their testosterone levels meaning, their body will be able to build muscle mass and strength properly. Higher testosterone levels mean a heightened libido among other things, for an insomniac this could be a life saver for their sex-lives.

             Sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea can heighten one’s risk of erectile dysfunction, this could likely be explained by the lack of testosterone production and control the body has after long periods of sleeplessness. They say chances of erectile dysfunction happening to individuals with sleep apnea and insomnia are up to 65 percent.

             Along with medications, therapy and other avenues one could take to avoid/treat insomnia it is a great idea for a man with insomnia to take a step back and talk with his sexual partner to figure out the right steps for their relationship. When dealing with insomnia it is easy for a couple to sleep in separate rooms usually due to the frustration caused by the presence of insomnia in their lives, though, there are many more reasonable avenues to take. For example, creating a sleep/sex schedule. I know that sounds silly, but really, try it. When you take the time to organize your evenings and start things off earlier you may begin to see a change in your sex life as well as your sleep life! Besides, sleep is a way to release oxytocin and can reduce stress levels tremendously. If you find yourself not able to sleep while in bed and don’t want to wake your partner there are many different breathing exercises that can benefit you through the night to prevent waking them up.


             If you or someone you know feels they may have insomnia it is best to contact your physician or a psychiatrist, these individuals are trained to known and help in the case that insomnia is something you need treated. People with insomnia are completely normal, they just have a harder time staying and falling asleep as others do. Insomnia is not a life-threatening condition though it may be linked to some. If you feel you have insomnia and are unsure if it is affecting your sex-life or not talk with your sexual partner and discuss what options you two may have in the case insomnia is indeed a factor.

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