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How sex can help you sleep better

Release of hormones helps to get a better sleep in men after sex. Know how?

Written by Ranita Ganguly |Published : August 18, 2014 6:16 PM IST

Sleep after sex

Men frequently fall asleep after having sex especially during the night. The reasons may be familiar to most of us - physical exhaustion during sex. However, experts say that the pleasure feeling throughout the sexual act stimulates the release of a set of hormones in men, which also have a predominant role in getting a good night's sleep. Here are some chemicals and hormones which are involved in promoting sleep after sex:

1. Oxytocin

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Oxytocin is otherwise called the 'cuddle hormone' and it is released in adequate amounts during sex. This hormone has a relaxing effect and helps to reduce blood pressure. Oxytocin also has an anti-anxiety effect and acts as stress buster. These cumulative effects of oxytocin help de-stress the body and make men fall asleep.

2. Serotonin

Serotonin has a calming effect. It also helps relax the body. Ejaculation stimulates the production of serotonin thereby inducing a soothing effect in the brain as well as the whole body. In addition, serotonin is a precursor of melatonin (hormone that regulates sleep and maintains circadian rhythm of the body). An increased serotonin level may also lead to an increase in melatonin level, which further induces sleep.

3. Prolactin

Men releases prolactin hormone during sex. This hormone is released as they reach orgasm. Prolactin causes drowsiness in men and thus promotes sleep.

4. Nitric oxide

Nitric oxide (a hormone) is released during sex from the prostate glands. This hormone helps relax the penis which in turn unwinds the mind and thus makes men asleep.

Apart from these hormones, another factor like a fall in body temperature (after sex) also promotes better sleep. Till the time of ejaculation the body temperature remains high but at the end of the whole sexual process, the temperature starts falling gradually. This drop in temperature stimulates the production of melatonin, which in turn facilitates sleep.

Since sex makes a man fall asleep, experts presume that sex can also be a good remedy for men suffering from insomnia, but due to a lack of evidence and the involvement of other factors in insomnia researchers have not been able to establish a conclusive link.

Image source: Getty images

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Paul KN, Turek FW, Kryger MH. Influence of sex on sleep regulatory mechanisms. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2008 Sep; 17(7):1201-8. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2008.0841.

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