Does Better Sleep Mean a Better Orgasm?

 

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There are many connections between sleep and having that big “O” moment. 
But did you know training yourself to sleep easier, and more deeply, could help to increase the intensity of your orgasm, and your sex life?

One of the core reasons for this link lies in the mind’s ability to detach from the external world, and move within.

We can gain great insight from a common occurrence for both men and women. Wet dreams, normally associated with men, are also a natural phenomenon for women. It was recently published in the Journal of Sex Research that 85 percent of women have experienced a nocturnal orgasm. In both cases, studies have shown the orgasm was much more intense during sleep, versus when the subject was partaking in sexual activates consciously. This is because while you are asleep, there is less inhibition and less conscious restraint. Studies of brain scans have shown that there is actually a ‘turning off’ of certain areas in the brain that process outside information, motor activity, and emotion at the time of orgasm. This may help explain why there are fewer barriers to intense sexual excitation during sleep than when a person is awake. (Source)

Re-creating this state of being that your mind and body experience during deep sleep, when you’re awake, can result in the same sexual intensity for your active sex life.

Some of the main practices involved are; the ability to surrender, letting go, being fully present, and being immersed in all of the senses. You can train your brain to become better at theses skills by practicing meditation, slowing down, and to increasing the value you place on being present. Something we are rarely do in this technological and fast paced society.

As a result of how our modern world operates, most of us have an overly developed left side of the brain. Its job is to study the past and rehearse for the future. However, it is the right brain that is in charge of present moment awareness, like when you have to catch a ball flying through the air.

Meditation, deep relaxation, or other similar practices force us to exercise our ability to go back and forth between the two hemispheres of the brain, thus helping to balance the two parts of our brain. If we practice often, then we strengthen our ability to be present when we want to, and the practice becomes more easily accessible. These same practices also help us to sleep better.

Having the skill to be present in both your mind, and body can have great results. This is true for your brain, but also for your orgasm. If you are able to control your mind (full presence) and surrender to what your body has to offer you, then you can achieve that state of bliss formerly only known to exist in your dreams.

Another area that significantly affects both our ability to sleep well, and our ability to orgasm, is our capacity to manage our stress levels. Stress decreases the production of the sex hormones, like oestrogen and testosterone, and ramps up your levels of cortisol. When your body releases cortisol, your system shifts from a relaxed state, to being on guard. Essentially, your “fight or flight response kicks in, redirecting blood flow to your muscles, and away from your sex organs, telling your body to prioritise survival over sex, making orgasm nearly impossible. In a study conducted by the University of Michigan, when the levels of cortisol in women reached over 40 percent, they were physically incapable of orgasm. (Source) Conversely, lower cortisol levels increase your both capacity for pleasure and better sleep.

If you can learn to go within, connect to your senses, and surrender, you will not only sleep more soundly, but orgasm more loudly.

“Sleep is the best form of meditation.” – Dalai Lama

If you can master the art of sleeping, what else might be possible?

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Insomnia Trends

Did you know that about 30% of adults suffer from insomnia? Considering we ideally spend about a third of our life sleeping (or trying to), that’s an awful lot of time to spend battling this beast. Whether it’s difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, more people than ever are not getting the quality and quantity of sleep they need in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

When did we lose our knack for sleeping? Here’s what recent studies have revealed about the trends in insomnia in the past 20 years:

Prevalence of insomnia has increased slightly

In the UK, prevalence of insomnia increased from 35.0% in 1993 to 38.6% in 2007 (source). However, the factors correlated with insomnia remained consistent during the 15 year period (i.e. with insomnia being more prevalent amongst women, those of older age, and those suffering from depression). In other words: insomnia has been gradually on the rise, but amongst the same demographic over time.

A similar study in Finland mirrors this finding: from 1995-2005 they observed a slight increase in insomnia amongst the working age population (source). 

Sydney coffee shop
(Photo source)

The use of sleeping tablets to treat insomnia has increased dramatically

A study by Medco Health Solutions revealed that from 2000-2004, use of sleeping tablets doubled amongst adults and increased by 85% in children and young adults in the US (source).

Another study had even more dramatic findings, citing that from 1994-2007, prescriptions for Nonbenzodiazepine Sedative Hypnotics (e.g. Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata) saw a 30-fold increase (540,000 to 16.2 million) in the US (source). Given that there are around almost 9 million Americans using sleeping tablets (source), this indicates that people are being prescribed multiple different kinds of sleeping medications to handle their insomnia.

insomnia trends
(Photo source)

The Bottom Line

More and more people are using sleeping tablets to deal with insomnia, though the prevalence of insomnia itself has not increased anywhere near as fast in recent years. That begs the question: Are sleeping tablets effective?

Tips For Sleeping On A Plane

Heading off to some far-off land on a long haul flight? Don’t sacrifice a good night’s sleep just because you won’t be horizontal.

Here are our best tips for how to sleep on a plane:

Choose a good seat

Be sure to select your seat as soon as possible. Some airlines let you choose your seat upon booking, while others open up seat selection once online check-in begins. Either way, pick your seat as soon as you can.

Now, which seats are best for sleeping on a plane? Assuming you’re flying economy class, your best bet is a seat in the emergency exit row: that way you’ll be able to stretch out your legs and won’t be disturbed by your seatmates moving in and out of their seats. Otherwise, try for a window seat: you’re less likely to be bothered, and you’ll be oh-so-thankful for being able to lean on the side of the plane for a little extra sleep room. Whatever you do, avoid booking seats that can’t recline (e.g. the last row of the plane)!

Bonus tip: Check out SeatGuru.com to examine the seating chart for your flight. It has notes marking which seats are more/less desirable, so you can see which seats are the best for sleeping on the plane!

seatguru plane seating map

Don’t drink

Thinking about knocking yourself out with a glass of wine on the flight? Think again – you may be regretting that decision when you wake up a few hours later needing to use the toilet. You’ll also feel the effects of dehydration more quickly while in a pressurized cabin, and that certainly won’t help you sleep. What’s more dehydration is one of the main causes of jetlag, so it won’t help you at the other end either.

Invest in some sleep accessories

Let’s face it: you’re not going to get the most comfortable night’s sleep on a plane. But you can make it much more bearable by bringing a few sleep aids on the flight with you:

  • Eye mask or baseball cap – If you have trouble falling asleep without total darkness, then covering your eyes on a plane is an absolute must! A comfortable eye mask should do the trick. Or alternatively, try wearing a baseball cap with the brim pulled all the way down over your eyes.
  • Earplugs or ear buds – It’s easy to be jarred awake by sudden noises in the cabin, from conversations to passenger movement to the overhead compartments slamming shut. If you’re a light sleeper, block out the noise with some earplugs. Or if you’re the kind of person who sleeps well with music on, pop in those ear buds and turn a sleep-friendly playlist on repeat. We recommend theta or delta brainwave music.
  • Neck pillow – These things may look borderline ridiculous, but they work some serious magic when it comes to falling asleep on a plane. They provide much-needed neck support so that you’re not suddenly jolted awake when your neck cramps up from being bent at an odd angle. Try wearing the neck pillow backwards so that your chin is supported from the front. And if bulkiness is a concern, look for an inflatable neck pillow that folds up small when packed in your carry-on bag.

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Dress for comfort

Rather than dressing to impress, board the plane wearing what you’d normally wear to bed (presuming you wear something to bed!). Comfortable loose bottoms and wooly socks. Make sure you have a blanket or shawl to wrap yourself up in. It gives us a nice feeling of being nurtured, which always helps with falling asleep.

Practice brainwave flexibility

Once you have learned how to increase your brainwave flexibility, it becomes much easier to sleep on a plane, because it is much easier for you to access the slow brainwave states at will. The noises won’t bother you as much, you will be able to relax more easily, and you may even begin to enjoy the challenge of getting a good night’s sleep on a plane. For tips on increasing your brainwave flexibility before your overnight flight, be sure to check out our post on brainwaves!

Do Morning People Have More Effective Workouts?

It’s a fairly widespread belief that working out first thing in the morning is best, but is there any truth in this claim? Assuming that morning people prefer to work out in the morning while night people tend to work out later in the day, does this mean that morning people have better workouts than night people?

According to our research, no – your sleep schedule does not determine the quality of your workouts, particularly for professional athletes who train hard.

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Morning vs Nighttime Workouts

There are a couple of major drawbacks to early morning workouts. First, your training may be impacted by some level of grogginess if you haven’t given yourself enough time to fully wake up in the morning. This is more likely to occur if you have arisen to an alarm which has woken you during the deep sleep phase of a sleep cycle. And second, a hard workout early in the morning will leave you exhausted for the remainder of the day (source).

Conversely, working out late in the day is also not a good idea: both because you’re too tired from the rest of the day’s activities to perform your best, and because you’ll be too aroused to fall asleep for several hours after the workout (source).

Rowers by Mona Lisa Photography
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What Time of Day is Best?

So then what time of day should you be working out? If history’s any indication, more world records have been set between 17:00-18:00 than any other hour of the day (source).

Alternatively, there is some evidence that one’s biological clock affects athletic performance: i.e. morning people (“larks”) perform better early in the day, while night people (“owls”) perform their best late in the day. A study on MLB players’ performance in 2010 revealed a staggering difference in batting average between larks and owls at different times of day (source):
Early play: Larks, 0.267; Owls 0.259
Mid play: Larks 0.252; Owls 0.261
Night play: Larks 0.252; Owls 0.306

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The Bottom Line

There is no one right time of day to work out: it largely depends on whether you’re a morning person or a night person (or somewhere in between). There is no evidence that morning people have better workouts than night people do.

Work with your circadian rhythm, rather than against it, when scheduling workouts. If you’re an athlete required to perform or compete at certain times of day, consider altering your sleep schedule slightly so that you’re able to perform your best.

Sleeping At Work: Japan’s Got The Right Idea

We live in a culture where it’s perfectly acceptable to be sleep deprived: where it’s normal to roll into work the morning after a late night with bags under our eyes and a jumbo coffee in our hand.

But then we’re expected to stay awake and alert through the entire workday. We’ve got deadlines to meet, projects to complete, meetings to attend; the show must go on, even when we’re exhaustedly dragging ourselves around the office thinking: “If only I could just take a quick nap right now”.

If only. It’s no secret that a 15-20 minute nap noticeably improves alertness (source). What if it were allowed – even encouraged – to take naps in the workplace?

Some companies are starting to embrace this idea: Google, Procter & Gamble, Salesforce, and PWC to name a few have installed sleep pods across their offices.

But one whole nation has long been ahead of the napping game: Japan.

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Source: Wikipedia

Inemuri in Japan

In Japan, they’ve coined a practice called inemuri: meaning “to be asleep while present” (source). It’s common to find employees practicing inemuri while at business meetings, sitting upright with their eyes closed while listening to presentations.

While in other cultures, this would be considered rude or lazy – in Japan, sleeping while on the job is a sign of hard work. It indicates that sleep was sacrificed in favor of a big work day.

The unwritten rules of inemuri require that the person remain upright while dozing off – that way, they can easily engage if called upon in the office. And only those employees higher up in the chain of command, or low-level staff, can typically get away with sleeping at work.

Regardless, sleep is seen as a positive thing in Japan, particularly sleeping at work. Australians could certainly stand to learn from the Japanese, who truly understand the power of the nap!

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