In March of this year (2019), the Journal of Sexual Medicine published research on 3,944 people over 50 who self-reported sexual and sleep variables as part of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing(1)Smith, L., Grabovac, I., Veronese, N., Soysal, P., Isik, A. T., Stubbs, B., . . . Jackson, S. E. (2019). Sleep Quality, Duration, and Associated Sexual Function at Older Age: Findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 16(3), 427-433. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.01.005
. News media picked up on the article and are reporting on it. The news is downplaying the age of the subject group though CNN did support their generalization by referencing a 2015 study of sleep and sex in college women(2)Kalmbach, D. A., Arnedt, J. T., Pillai, V., & Ciesla, J. A. (2015). The Impact of Sleep on Female Sexual Response and Behavior: A Pilot Study. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 12(5), 1221-1232. doi:10.1111/jsm.12858. After pointing out the link between poor sleep and sexual problems, the CNN report goes on to discuss good sleep hygiene – always a worthy topic in mental health.

Either way, the findings they are reporting on are worth noting.

Compared to high sleep quality… 

Moderate sleep quality was associated with:

  • arousal problems in women
  • erectile difficulties in men

Low sleep quality was associated with

  •  arousal problems in women
  • difficulty achieving an orgasm in women

Long sleep was associated with orgasmic difficulty in men vs optimal sleep duration.

So you have it, here is the quote of the results section:

In women, moderate (odds ratio [OR] = 1.53, 95% CI 1.09–2.13, P = .013) and low sleep quality (OR = 1.70, 95% CI 1.24–2.32, P = .001) were associated with increased odds of arousal problems relative to high sleep quality. In men, moderate sleep quality was associated with increased odds of erectile difficulties (OR = 1.47, 95% CI 1.16–1.85, P = .001), the difference between low and high sleep quality did not reach statistical significance (OR = 1.24, 95% CI 0.97–1.58, P = .091). Sleep quality was not associated with difficulty achieving an orgasm in men, but in women low sleep quality was associated with increased odds of orgasmic difficulty (OR = 1.63, 95% CI 1.18–2.25, P = .003). No associations between sleep duration and problems with sexual function were observed in women, but, in men, long sleep was associated with higher odds of difficulty achieving orgasm (OR = 1.75, 95% CI 1.04–2.95, P = 0.036) relative to optimal sleep duration.

 

See the news article on CNN

Lack of sleep may be ruining your sex life.

Being sleep deprived in today’s busy world is almost taken for granted. In fact, in some circles, it’s cause for bragging rights.

Yet science has linked poor slumber with high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, weight gain, mood swings, paranoia, depression and a higher risk of diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, dementia and some cancers.
And just in case you didn’t know, it’s also a buzz kill for your libido.
“It’s pretty simple,” said Laure Mintz, author of “A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex.” “If you’re exhausted and not getting enough sleep your sex drive is going to be extremely low.”

 

References   [ + ]

1. Smith, L., Grabovac, I., Veronese, N., Soysal, P., Isik, A. T., Stubbs, B., . . . Jackson, S. E. (2019). Sleep Quality, Duration, and Associated Sexual Function at Older Age: Findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 16(3), 427-433. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.01.005
2. Kalmbach, D. A., Arnedt, J. T., Pillai, V., & Ciesla, J. A. (2015). The Impact of Sleep on Female Sexual Response and Behavior: A Pilot Study. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 12(5), 1221-1232. doi:10.1111/jsm.12858