22:28 GMT +320 February 2018
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    Trouble Sleeping? Heat Things Up Between the Sheets Before Bedtime

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    A study last month by Sleep Cycle, a popular alarm clock app that tracks sleep habits, surveyed 1,000 of its US users to determine what helps them get the best sleep. The results are in: 68 percent of Americans said another type of tossing and turning, sex, helps them sleep better.

    In addition, the findings revealed that, of all participants surveyed, 40 percent said sex was their favorite pre-sleep activity to ensure a good snooze. Reading a book took a respectable second place at 33 percent, followed by listening to music, which 29 percent of respondents said helped them grab some Z's. 

    Even though the Sleep Cycle study only surveyed a tiny fraction of its 3 million users worldwide, the National Sleep Foundation says there's real science backing up sex as a pre-sleep ritual for a good night slumber.

    "Yes, sex can actually make it easier to fall asleep. This is mostly because of the hormones that are released during the act," a National Sleep Foundation article says.

    According to the foundation, having sex "boosts oxytocin and lowers cortisol." You might have heard oxytocin being referred to as the "love hormone." This is because oxytocin levels increase during hugging, sex and other emotional interactions. Cortisol is often called the "stress hormone" because it is released as part of the body's stress response.

    The National Sleep Foundation also explains that having an orgasm releases another the hormone, prolactin, which makes you drowsy.

    "All of that leads up to a nice, drowsy state that's perfect for cuddling up and falling asleep," the study states. 

    In turn, getting a better night's sleep could increase your libido, too. This is shaping up for a very enjoyable positive feedback loop!

    "Your sleep habits could be helping or hurting your sex life. If you or your partner aren't sleeping well — whether due to stress, one person keeping the other up with tossing and turning or a condition like sleep apnea — your sex drive is going to go way down," the article says.

    The Sleep Cycle study also revealed that more than 50 percent of Americans surveyed claim that their partner's snoring wakes them up at night. Almost one-third of participants say they sleep on the couch or in a different room to escape from the roaring snoring.

    "Our data show that Americans really value their sleep and that snoring continues to be a big issue in relationships," said Carl Johan Hederoth, CEO of Northcube, the creators of Sleep Cycle. "It also shows that on Valentine's Day and every day, couples should make romance a priority to help ensure a good night's sleep."

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    study, hormones, sex, sleep, United States
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