Sleep and Sex After Baby
I want to take this opportunity to talk about the relationship between sleep and sex.
Most women don’t get enough sleep. It’s recommended that we get between seven to nine hours every night. This is really important because when we don’t get enough sleep, our levels of cortisol in the body rise, and cortisol is unhealthy.
Elevated cortisol decreases our desire for sex, increases our appetite, and really changes the chemistry in our blood to make us more unhealthy. So it’s really important to find strategies to increase our quality sleep at night.
I’ve got three strategies to discuss with you. The first is that I want you to find the pockets in your day that are wasted. This might include sitting in carpool line, doing nothing, just waiting and listening to the radio. Or maybe you’re scrolling mindlessly on social media. Or maybe you’re watching an hour or two of TV at night.
These are all pockets of time that could be used to be productive or to sleep. If you really need to unwind at the end of your busy day, you would be better served by going inward and maybe reading a book or journaling, and then getting to bed earlier.
The second way to really help your sleep is to uncouple sleep and sex. A lot of times, as busy women, our days and our brains are structured like this: busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, sex, sleep, just like that. Because the sex is so close to the sleep, we get angry or annoyed about the sex because we actually just want to get to sleep, we’re tired. Or it might actually be taking away the time you’re sleeping and you’re annoyed about that too. Uncouple the two so there’s not a negative reaction to it so close to bedtime.
The last approach is to really set yourself up for success by making a sleep ritual every night. This would include turning off all electronics an hour before bedtime. Electronics, including our TVs, computers, and phones, all emit blue light, which keeps our brains activated. What we really need is red light, like from a candle or a fire. That tells our brain, “Okay, it’s time for bed,” and it starts to make melatonin, which helps us to drift into a natural sleep. So turn off the electronics and institute rituals like taking a bath or some aroma therapy.
Just like we would do for a baby, these extra cues help us know that, hey, the next thing that comes is sleep. That way, we can turn our brains off and go into deep, natural sleep.
I hope you can take some of these things we’ve talked about today and institute them in your life so that, not only can you have a healthier overall life, but also a healthier sex life.
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