A recent survey of nearly 800 adults found that most respondents felt that masturbation not only made it easier to fall asleep but that it improved the quality of sleep too.
On that note, here are six science-based reasons you might want to beat the meat before you hit the hay.
1. Tension taming
Ever get the urge to snuggle up with your partner — or at the very least, doze off — after doing the deed? You can thank oxytocin for those warm and fuzzy feelings you get from orgasm. The “happy hormone” also reduces cortisol (stress) levels and triggers the release of feel-good endorphins, leading to full-body relaxation from head to toe which makes falling asleep a cinch.
2. Pain relief
You don’t have to pop a painkiller to ease the aches and pains that keep you up at night. When you masturbate to orgasm, your body releases endorphins, which can act as naturally powerful painkillers. A study of over 800 patients found that sexual climax eased migraine pain and some cluster headaches in 70% of participants.
3. Brain training
Your brain is hardwired to respond to certain stimuli with a learned physical response. When the smell of a juicy steak sizzling on the stove makes your mouth water, that’s your digestive system automatically gearing up to devour what you know is going to be a delicious meal in a few minutes. Likewise, if you make masturbation part of your regular bedtime routine, you’re creating a behavioral link that signals to your mind and body that it’s time to wind down for sleep.
Although it’s unlikely that a nightly masturbation ritual alone can cure chronic insomnia, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have it in your toolkit for that occasional sleepless night.
4. Improved sleep quality
Whether you’re going at it alone or with a partner, getting your rocks off may very well help you sleep like a rock. Studies have found a link between orgasm and the quality and quantity of the slow-wave sleep we reap. While our bodies drift in and out of REM and non-REM sleep cycles throughout the night, our deepest (and most restorative) sleep comes from our non-REM “slow-wave” cycles. If we don’t get enough of this type of sleep, it can affect everything from our memory to our basic everyday functioning.
5. Better sex life
A good night’s sleep and a great sex life (solo or shared) go hand in hand. Ironically, by having orgasms to get better sleep at night, you’re likely going to have better orgasms.
Lack of sleep is a libido killer. (That’s why sex is often the last thing on new parents’ mind after sleepless nights with a newborn.) Not getting enough sleep can throw hormone production out of whack, leading to a lack of interest in sex and poor performance. Testosterone, the driving force behind a man’s sex drive and function, is one of the hormones most affected by sleep deprivation. One study found that men who slept only four hours had significantly lower levels of testosterone than those that had a good night’s rest.
6. The feel-good factor
Put it this way, there certainly are less pleasurable ways to end the evening. There’s no doubt that rubbing one out when it’s lights out falls under the “self-care” category, and we all know how important that is in this day and age!