A new study confirms that sexual dysfunction in midlife women is linked to poor sleep quality

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Sleep and sex are two crucial ingredients for a woman’s quality of life. A satisfying sex life boosts many aspects of physical and emotional health, enhancing everything from mood to heart health. A new study shines a light on how sex and sleep are connected — beyond the simple fact that each often involves a bed.

Midlife women who report insufficient sleep quality also tend to have higher rates of sexual dysfunction, the study found. Some 75 percent of the women in the study reported poor sleep quality, while 54 percent met the criteria for sexual dysfunction. These are huge percentages and the prevalence of these concerns underscores the need for doctors to better address them.

When results were analyzed to take other factors into account, women with poor sleep quality were found to be 1.48 times more likely to report having sexual issues. On the flip side, sexually active women were more likely to be getting good quality sleep.

One notable discovery: The amount of total sleep (known as sleep duration) turned out to be less important than the quality of sleep.

The researchers could not determine whether poor quality sleep led to poorer sex, or whether it was a lack of good sex that affected a woman’s ability to sleep. “Logically it makes sense that sleep quality issues impact sex, because when you’re tired you don’t have much libido. But it could also indicate an issue with her relationship that is affecting her ability to sleep,” the researcher says.

It’s clear from this study that doctors should be asking women about anything that might be impacting either their sleep or their sex lives, experts say.

Some of the issues affecting sleep that doctors can help with include sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, panic attacks, or menopausal symptoms like night sweats. 

You might also enjoy this article on finding balance between mental and physical health.

Author: Julie Lawrence is the editor of Optimyz Magazine based in Halifax Nova Scotia.

You may also like