“NOT tonight, darling,” is perhaps a more common refrain in our bedrooms than many of us realise – with four in five people preferring shut-eye to sex, according to a survey.
But you don’t have to choose between passion and a good night’s kip.
You don’t have to choose between passion and a good night’s kip[/caption]
Sexpert Kate Taylor says: “It might be tempting to think about dozing off when you dive beneath the duvet, but it is scientifically proven that sex helps you get good-quality sleep.”
Here, Kate gives her top ten tips for enjoying the best of both worlds.
1. DO IT IN THE DARK
Making love in the dark can be amazingly erotic — and not at all prudish[/caption]
DON’T feel like a prude if you prefer sex with the lights out.
Making love in the dark can be amazingly erotic – and it can help you and your partner get a better night’s sleep too.
One study found that being exposed to overhead lighting suppressed the production of melatonin, the hormone that tells your body it is time to go to sleep, in 99 per cent of participants.
Turn your bedroom into a blacked-out boudoir. Banish all electric lights – especially smartphones, which emit a blue light that keeps you awake. Seduce your partner using only your sense of touch.
If you would like a bit of a cheeky guiding glow, try luminous condoms (Glowing Pleasures by One, £9.99, Superdrug).
2. NAUGHTY NAP
Drag your partner home for a mid-afternoon quickie, then snuggle up for a brief afternoon nap together[/caption]
AFTERNOON delight is more likely to get your partner’s sky rocket in flight.
According to hormone experts, 3pm is when men get a natural bump in their oestrogen levels, which makes them more emotionally present during sex, and when women have high cortisol levels, making them more energetic.
Drag your partner home for a mid-afternoon quickie, then snuggle up for a brief afternoon nap together. Research by the Sleep Council found 3pm is also the perfect time for a power nap, as our circadian rhythms are at their lowest, which means we fall asleep faster and wake up more refreshed.
To get things started quickly before the quickie, send him a sexy message on your way so he knows what he has in store.
3. SEX SCHEDULE
Leave your smartphones in another room[/caption]
STICKING to a strict bedtime could be the easiest way to boost your sleep, says Dr Lindsay Browning, sleep expert at advice site troublesleeping.co.uk.
She says: “Having a set bedtime and wake time every day, seven days a week, improves your sleep quality.”
Aim to go to bed at the same time because it is a great way to catch up with each other emotionally.
Leave your smartphones in another room, and instead of scrolling through social media, turn towards each other.
Scheduling sex might not seem romantic but getting into a routine will ensure you make the most of your time.
4. HARD DAY’S NIGHT
Try a more difficult position such as The Wheelbarrow, or standing up, to increase your calorie burn[/caption]
THE best type of sex to improve your sleep isn’t cosy – it’s passionate and energetic.
Dr Browning says: “Vigorous activity earlier in the day will cause you to get more deep sleep during the night. And deep sleep is the most regenerating and healing.”
But ten minutes of passion in a half-hearted missionary position won’t do the trick.
Instead, try a more difficult position such as The Wheelbarrow, or standing up, to increase your calorie burn, get your heart pumping and boost restorative sleep later.
Give yourself a sexy soundtrack that will get your heart speeding along.
You can find lots of suitably saucy playlists on Spotify.
5. MASSAGE MESSAGE
To give your partner an erotic massage, start by lying them face down on the bed in a darkened room…[/caption]
GIVING – and getting – a rubdown can boost sleepiness and sexiness. It causes your body to produce the feelgood chemical serotonin, which in turn helps you release melatonin, and it boosts your affectionate oxytocin.
To give your partner an erotic massage, start by lying them face down on the bed in a darkened room. Warm oil in your hands, then stroke the points acupuncturists believe help to boost sexual energy – the ear lobes, nape of the neck, the triangular flat bone at the base of the spine, buttocks and the sensitive skin behind the knees.
When you sense your partner cannot take any more, you can have sex – and that should lead you into a lovely sleep.
6. PILLOW FIGHT
When we argue, we produce adrenalin that can boost our arousal … so take your fight to the bedroom[/caption]
IF you and your partner are stuck in an argument that you can’t solve, take it upstairs.
Contrary to the old advice, going to bed and having a frank exchange of views can boost your passion and help you find solutions.
When we argue, we produce adrenalin that can boost our arousal and give us extra stamina in the sack. Then let sleep fix the problem.
Dr Browning says: “When we enter rapid eye movement sleep, it stimulates the problem-solving centre of our brain to sort through emotional issues and generate solutions.”
When you wake up, all will be forgiven.
There is an added bonus. Hopefully, after thrashing it out, the same stale arguments will no longer rear their ugly heads.
FALLING asleep after an orgasm is easy, because a climax releases a wave of virtual happy Horlicks – oxytocin, prolactin, melatonin and feel-good endorphins flood your system, leaving you relaxed.
But if you have sex but don’t orgasm, sleep can evade you, as your heart rate will be high and blood that flowed to your nether regions during foreplay will stay there, leaving you feeling achy.
Women usually take longer than men do to reach climax, so make your own orgasm the priority here.
Focus on foreplay to get you as close as possible to climax before you start sex.
To reach the point of no return together, a couples’ toy such as a vibrating ring (Lifeguard by PicoBong, £44, lelo.com) can help you hit the finishing line in tandem.
8. EROTIC BOOK CLUB
SOME light reading before bedtime is a well-known aid to sleep. But swap your cosy rom-com for something more torrid and you might also feel more in the mood for love-making.
A study published by the Society For The Scientific Study Of Sexuality, based in the US, revealed that reading erotic fiction can help women “achieve a mental state conducive to sex”. Try dipping into a saucy novel and see if the page-turner can, er, turn you on while between the sheets.
You could even pick out the sexiest parts of your book to re-enact with your partner for some literary loving.
Then sex with your partner should usher you towards the best sleep of your life.
9. OIL UP
THERE is a simple way of making your bedroom the perfect environment for sex and sleep – infuse it with a relaxing and sexy scent.
Essential oils can boost your drive more than you might think. Having a rose essential oil suffusing through your bedroom on a burner is a winner. It is known for its anxiety-relieving and calming properties, as well as being an aphrodisiac. If the strong scent of rose is not for you, try ylang ylang. It contains properties to revive a sagging libido and the relaxing floral scent will help you drift off into a blissful sleep.
(Exotiq Ylang Ylang Massage Candle, £24.99, lovehoney.co.uk) provides a lovely two-person bedtime wind-down.
MOST READ IN FABULOUS
10. WARM SHOWER
WARMING your body with a hot shower an hour before bed, then stepping into cooler air, will cause your body temperature to drop quickly.
Studies show that this rapid temperature decrease slows your metabolism faster and prepares your body for sleep. If you shower every night at around the same time, it becomes part of a regular bedtime routine.
Ask your partner to pop into the steam with you, and make the most of getting two sleep-inducing activities for one.
To make sure you reach orgasm, and to help your snoozing along, take a short cut to O-town. Grab a waterproof vibrator (Rippled Pebble Massager Vibrator, £50, annsummers.com) and enjoy.