Insomnia and I are not strangers. We’ve had an intimate relationship for far more years than I care to remember. I’ve had a longer relationship with sleepless nights than I’ve had with any lover in my life to date, which is actually rather sad. I’ve had to rearrange my life around my insomnia and other health problems a great deal in the last 10+ years, whether that meant sleeping later or working from home. But now that this night owl is back in the office, working a 9-6, I am facing a brand new dilemma: when sleep deprivation kills your sex life.
I’ve always considered myself to have a very healthy and active sex drive. In fact, there has been more than one relationship where I have wanted to be intimate significantly more frequently than my male partner. I’m certainly not what you’d categorize as a nymphomaniac, but I enjoy sex and the bond that particular kind of intimacy can help feed within a loving relationship.
When A Healthy Sex Drive Takes A Wrong Turn
My libido, along with the rest of my energy, started to take a big hit two weeks ago when I started my new job, my first full-time job completely outside of the house in many years. While I miraculously woke up early fairly easily—super early compared to my previous wake time—going to sleep was a far more difficult matter. Even though I’d start feeling drained by mid-afternoon and be ready to conk out by sundown, my circadian rhythm resisted going to sleep on time.
As a result, I found myself dragging after work. My alertness dropped. It was hard to find energy to clean, to do my laundry and to always listen attentively to my love when he got home from his day of work and workout. Even worse, when it came time to cuddle before bed, all I wanted to do was close my eyes and drop off to sleep—though of course my body resisted doing just that.
Science Says Sleep Deprivation Kills Your Sex Life
WebMD ranks “Lack of Sleep Kills Sex Drive” in the top 5 of its 10 Surprising Effects of Lack of Sleep. Whether it’s depleted energy, increased tension or sleepiness, it’s no surprise that sleep deprivation can quickly nip your desire in the bud. Studies suggest that disrupted sleep, such as from sleep apnea, in men is associated with abnormally low, night-time testosterone levels.
For me, it wasn’t even so much that my libido disappeared. It was that I lost the energy and will to see it through. With both of us begging for more hours of sleep, it made more sense to skip the hanky-panky some nights and just concentrate on making up for missed hours of zzz’s.
Reclaiming My Circadian Rhythm & Relationship
Other couples may laugh at my idea of a less frequent love life, as WP and I still manage to get frisky fairly often throughout the week. Yet it’s an adjustment for me to realize how much sleep deprivation can impact the things I love to do, whether that’s write blogs, do yoga more frequently or make love. As I gradually get into a healthier routine with the new job, and my circadian rhythm shifts, I feel confident I will soon handle the lifestyle changes ease, making for a happier, more alert me and a more present and active partner for Warrior Poet.
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