*Special guest post by Sarah from The Sleep Advisor!
Good news everyone – there’s another HUGE benefit to having sex. (Yay!)
Sex helps us sleep. No, I’m not talking about during the act, or even that awkward post-coital moment when he hasn’t rolled off you but has somehow managed to fall into slumber instead. Ugh.
I’m talking about that lovely, dreamy slumberland that sex can evoke, that great night’s sleep that’s been eluding you for days – or weeks? months?! – until you’ve had a good ol’ dose of nookie. When it does happen and you slide off into la-la land, you wake up rested. Refreshed. Ready for Round 2 (or 3).
But how exactly does sex help me sleep?
Good question. Well, it releases all those feel-good, stay-secure hormones like oxytocin and prolactin, which lead you to feel comfortable, relaxed and drowsy after The Big Moment. Simultaneously, it reduces cortisol levels in the body; that pesky hormone which causes those wheels of anxiety spinning in your stressed-out mind.
And you know what? More sleep can actually increase your libido, leading to – you got it – more sex. Bonus.
I’m intrigued. And I want more! How can I get some?
I’m so glad you asked. Obviously you’re in charge of sending out some serious sex appeal…but I can help you set the scene for what happens next. Because unlike what some porn directors would have you believe, there ain’t nothing sexy about fluorescent lighting
Here’s how to create a sexy bedroom environment:
1. Keep your work at the office
Or, if you work from home, make sure that your computer and other wirey-type stuff (technical term, FYI) are kept out of the bedroom. Tripping over chargers or seeing an email flash up in the throes of passion is a sure-fire way to kill the mood. So keep things separate – your work can be elsewhere but your bedroom is strictly for play.
2. Lose the gadgets
Unless, of course, you’re talking about your favourite new toy. What I mean is, your phones and laptops should be kept in another room if you can stand it, or at the very least, switched off when it’s time for bed. For one, the blue light they emit is a bad idea when you’re trying to get to sleep. Those science dudes say so, and I’m inclined to believe them.
Even more important, getting into a habit of binge-watching the latest Netflix hit with your partner won’t exactly get your pulse racing. Well, maybe it will but getting all hot and bothered about Stranger Things isn’t what we’re striving for here. So ditch the gadgets and welcome some ‘quiet time’ instead.
3. Light it up
You might be more of a ‘lights off’ person. Maybe that’s because you’ve only ever done it with a harsh 100-watt staring you in the face. In which case, I don’t blame you – after all nothing looks sexy in that kind of light. (Side note: so why the f**k do so many stores insist on blinding lights in their dressing rooms?!)
Take it from me: sex with the light on is a great idea. But like any good photographer will tell you, it’s all about finding the right light. Whether it comes from a dimmer switch or flickering candles (scented ones are even better), soft lighting helps you look and feel your best. A coloured scarf can also create a romantic glow when thrown over a lampshade; just make sure it isn’t placed over the naked bulb itself. Because we’re not after a fire here – just fireworks!
4. Focus on the senses
You’ve already created a visually pleasing environment, but what about your other senses? Those scented candles I mentioned can work a treat, as can burning some of your favourite essential oils. Or why not use the oils during a sensual massage? Then you’ll be taking care of your sense of smell and touch. Win-win.
Taste? Well, each other, hopefully! But of course there’s all those aphrodisiacs you can try before you even hit the hay. And while we may all not have oysters lying around our fridge, we can certainly give the more accessible ones – like chocolate – a try. Hell, why not bring it into the bedroom with you? Mmm, syrupy…
Sound? That’s easy, get your Barry White going – or maybe something slightly less cheesy – and start your sexy soundtrack to get you both in the mood.
5. Invest in the best
So you’ve got a bedroom that’s distraction-free, dimly lit and smelling great. You’ve dined on some delectable foods and those sultry songs have you making straight for the centerpiece of the room.
You both crash onto the bed, in a flurry of passion…and then…a haphazard spring sends you leaping up in pain.
Let’s face it. A saggy mattress or a lumpy pillow don’t exactly scream ‘sexy time’. Of course, there’s always the floor – but for me a comfortable, supportive bed for whatever you get involved in makes a big difference. Mattresses may not come cheap but get the right one and it’ll last you for a lifetime of great sex. Totally worth it.