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article imageCan daylight savings time save your sex life?

By Michael Essany     Mar 6, 2014 in Health
From trendy magazines to topical Internet blogs, it's one of the most common complaints you will find about couples when discussing their sex lives: they no longer have the sex drive of their former, younger selves.
But, in reality, the underlying issue may have nothing to do with age. The problem between the sheets may be the result of not spending enough time between them in the first place.
In recent days, the issue of work and stress-related exhaustion and sleep deprivation has returned to the forefront of topical media discussions in light of National Sleep Awareness Week.
This week, organizations like The National Sleep Foundation are working to advance public education and awareness to promote the importance of sleep. Fittingly, the campaign ends Sunday with the change to Daylight Saving Time. On that occasion, Americans will lose one hour of sleep.
And if you know anything about the sleep habits of most Americans today, the last thing they need is less sleep.
According leading experts in health and medicine, a good night's sleep is imperative to all facets of one's well-being. And many insist that sleep is equally vital to the sexual health of men and women. But men in particular appear to be most intensely ravaged by sleep deprivation when it comes to maintaining a healthy libido.
For men, a lack of sleep translates to a lack of sex drive. So if the man in your life is a workaholic, it might not come as a big surprise that his sex drive is being impaired by sleep deprivation.
According to recent research at the University of Chicago, men who sleep for less than 5 hours a night for a week or longer have been found to have testosterone levels significantly lower than men who get eight hours or more every night.
Since the hormone testosterone can directly affect a man’s libido as well as his energy levels, men who fail to get adequate sleep are also more likely to put off or turn down sex.
Yes, that actually happens.
“Low testosterone levels are associated with reduced well-being and vigor, which may also occur as a consequence of sleep loss,” explains Eve Van Cauter, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago.
Consequently, how could anyone logically expect t Daylight Savings Time and a loss of available time for sleep to actually improve their sex life? Well, they can’t. But the increased awareness of sleep's importance in the days leading up to the springing forward of our clocks certainly can help.
It does, however, take more than just a comprehensive understanding of sleep's importance to actually get more of it. As evidenced by the surge in prescriptions and sales of medicinal sleep aids, millions of Americans are turning to the pill bottle for shut-eye assistance. But with hit-or-miss results and occasional side effects – including a worsened form of rebound insomnia after sleep meds are discontinued – a growing number of physicians are urging greater restraint when using medicinal sleep aids.
Fortunately, innovative non-medicinal alternatives for treating sleep deprivation are proving to be highly effective and much safer than their prescription counterparts. Neuroscientist and NASA funded sleep researcher Seth Horowitz, Ph.D. points to groundbreaking new technology like the Sleep Genius smartphone app for iOS and Android as a potential game changer for the sleep deprived.
Just last month, in fact, Samsung announced that this scientifically advanced sleep program developed by top researchers in the fields of neuroscience, sleep, and music, will be integrated into the new Samsung GEAR 2 smartwatch.
Yet, regardless of the tips and tactics that work best for securing your 40 winks, studies continue to suggest that quality sleep may the best answer to one of the biggest sexual problems facing Americans today – a lack of energy to actually do it.
If the brain truly is the most important sex organ of all, give it the greatest source of nourishment you can provide - sleep. If so, the hour of sleep you involuntarily give up after dark this weekend will be nothing compared to the hours of sleep you voluntarily give up for "other activities" after dark next weekend.
More about Daylight savings time, Spring, Sleep, Sex, Sexual health
 
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