Have you ever noticed that some of your best #sleep comes on the heels of an amazing #orgasm? The cliché of men who pass out after the act is a common stereotype for a reason. Orgasm really works to spur the body into sleep mode.
According to Dr. Madeleine Castellanos, board certified psychiatrist and sex therapist, there are two powerful hormonal influences that can bring on deep relaxation after sex. First is #oxytocin, a calming “cuddle chemical” produced primarily in response to touch. The second is prolactin, released at the height of orgasm, which actually brings on that hazy, sleepy feeling that lasts for about twenty minutes after you climax. And it’s not just for men, either! Women can feel the effects just as strongly, if they’re having as much fun.
In fact, for those of you struggling to falling asleep, the orgasm chemicals may provide a new bedtime routine to ease your transition.
In order to get your body as relaxed as possible and get into the best state for falling asleep, you want to start by maximizing your oxytocin production. The ideal method, Castellanos says, is lots of sensual foreplay. The heightened arousal experienced through a slow but steady increase of pleasure allows your body to produce the most amount of oxytocin. “Take some nice, relaxing breaths,” Castellanos says. “Make sure you get a good buildup of oxytocin by having a lot of touch.”
And if you don’t have a partner to help, never fear. There are other options. With a little creativity, anyone can build a pleasure ritual that ends in a big prolactin bang. While an abundance of touch may be the best way to boost those preorgasm oxytocin levels, it isn’t the only way. For the single, a self massage can get those chemicals moving, but so can a long walk with a nice view, or some comfort food, or your favorite romantic comedy. Something that makes you both laugh and cry will really get the oxytocin flowing.
Once you are settled in with the oxytocin calming you down, you’re ready to get that orgasmic prolactin moving. Don’t shy away from taking things into your own hands; remember, orgasm is your goal. Even with a partner, if masturbating is your most reliable sleep aid then use it. This isn’t the time for modesty and certainly not for faking it. A good night’s sleep is the most important part of your day. Second maybe to your orgasm, anyway.
Whatever you do, make a habit of it, says Castellanos. Try a few things and keep track of what works. Don’t rush it. Let it be an experiment. “Your brain learns everything by repetition,” Castellanos says, “so leave time for that and create the space both mentally and physically.”