Sleep Better

How Sleep Divorce Can Improve Your Sex Life

An image of John Patterson
04 Dec 20183 min read

If one of your New Year's resolutions as a couple is to improve your sex life, you may need to consider separate beds. Our research has revealed that, surprisingly, the best way to achieve this could be spending more nights apart. An approach that is commonly known as ‘sleep divorce’.

Here are the key facts:

  • Women who have one extra hour's sleep are 14% more likely to want to have sex with their partner.
  • A persistent lack of sleep can reduce testosterone levels in men by 10-15%.
  • Our survey of British sleep habits showed that 27% of people are disturbed by their partner every night.
  • We also found that snoring (25%) causes more arguments than work-related stress (17.9%). This nightly nuisance can negatively affect your sex life.

Why sleep is so important to your sex life

Studies have shown that lack of sleep significantly negatively impacts the sex drive of men and women. According to this study, a woman who has had just one hour of extra sleep is 14% more likely to want to have sex with their partner.

For men, lack of sleep can severely dent testosterone levels. This study found that testosterone levels in men who underwent one week of sleep restricted to 5 hours per night had decreased testosterone levels of 10%- 15% compared to when they had 8 hours. This gave the young men in this study the same testosterone levels of someone 15 years older.

Unfortunately, sleeping with your partner is probably disturbing your sleep. Our research found that over a quarter of people (27%) were disturbed by their partner every night. Meaning that sleeping with your partner may very well be a barrier to improving your sex life in the new year.

If you want to see if a sleep divorce would benefit your love life, and more, why not take our sleep divorce compatibility test and see how your partner scores?

Why a sleep divorce can be beneficial for couples

We recently carried out a study which found that a quarter of all couples argue about their partner keeping them up at night and another quarter argued about their love life.  Only money was a more common reason for couples to argue.

Statistic showing the most common reason why you argue with your partner

Lack of space is a common reason for couples to disturb each other during sleep. Which is unsurprising as, if you are sleeping in anything less than a king-size bed, you would have more space if you were sleeping in a single. This means that most children get more space to sleep in than people in a couple. So, if you don't have the luxury of a spare room to run to when your partner's bad habits are keeping you up, it may be time to invest in a larger mattress (or even separate singles) to ensure you have more room to yourself.

Then we get onto your partner's habits. It turns out that, in this respect, most of us are rubbish in bed. Our study looked at the most disturbing sleep habits of partners across the nation.

Statistics showing which of your partners bad sleep habits disturbs your sleep the most

Unsurprisingly, snoring came out on top. The research also revealed that men complain more about people eating in bed, going on their mobile device and hogging the duvet. Women are more likely to be annoyed by partners that snore and talk in their sleep.

The longer you’ve been in a relationship - the more you’ll want to sleep apart

In a finding that will come as no surprise to any couple that has been together a while, the longer you’ve been together the more you want to sleep apart.

Statistic showing how long it takes before couples are ready for a sleep divorce

Our research shows that it takes around 11 years for couples to decide they are ready for a sleep divorce. However, if you're looking to improve your love life in the new year, perhaps you should consider it sooner.

More sex can lead to better sleep

The beauty of this is, just as having more sleep can lead to a better sex life, a better sex life can lead to better sleep. This is because sex releases oxytocin (making you feel more connected to your partner) and reduces cortisol (a hormone related to stress). Making it much easier to fall asleep.

Sex can increase oestrogen levels in women. This extra oestrogen can enhance REM sleep after sex. REM is an integral part of a good night’s sleep as it organises neural processes that are vital for learning, memory, problem-solving and performance (i.e. general physical coordination). A lack of REM sleep can leave you clumsy, lethargic and struggling to retain information.

So, if you’d like to improve your sex life in the new year, you may want to consider a sleep divorce. Want to see just how bad an influence your partner is on your sleep? Why not use our sleep compatibility test?

Or, if you don't think a sleep divorce is right for you, check out our blog post on the science behind cuddling instead!