Are sleep and masturbation connected? Yes! Chances are you, like many, noticed a good self-care sesh can mean better sleep. If you haven’t yet, rest assured there’s science to back this up. Join me in exploring this fun relationship with a look at the big picture, statistics, and more!

Fact is, there are approximately 5 million Google searches each month in the U.S. related to sleep problems. So there’s no question we’re on the hunt for options. But there is a question here: why isn’t pleasure a bigger part of the sleep conversation? Because it should be. And reading up on it not only arms you with the facts to bring to the discussion but also helps inform on options you can incorporate in your own life.   

 

The Science of Sleep & Masturbation

Masturbation triggers the release of several hormones in the brain. During orgasm, the body releases a cocktail of feel-good chemicals including oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins. Oxytocin and endorphins, in particular, are associated with relaxation so it checks out that self-love can make it way easier to drift off. 

One benefit of masturbation is its ability to reduce cortisol levels, the chemical associated with stress. Many of us struggle to fall asleep at night because our minds wander to stressful thoughts, making it difficult to relax. During the night, your body naturally releases a mix of oxytocin, serotonin, prolactin, and melatonin as part of its daily cycle.

Melatonin is the hormone responsible for making you feel sleepy, but the other hormones—oxytocin, serotonin, and prolactin—play a significant role in enhancing the quality of your sleep. By masturbating and achieving orgasm, you can effectively boost this natural process, helping you relax and enjoy a more restful night’s sleep.

Want the hard-hitting numbers? Here we go. A recent study found that 54% of participants said they slept better after masturbating and orgasming! 

 

Masturbation as a Form of Meditation

Masturbation can be meditative. (FYI meditation doesn’t mean not thinking.) Brains make thoughts because that’s their job. You can’t turn that off. Your job is to create a space—mental and/or physical—to process the thoughts at a mindful pace, close yourself off from distractions, and focus on your body. 

And since the focused and rhythmic nature of masturbation can be meditative, it should come as no surprise that there’s a link to sleep. Hell, meditation is already a known narcoleptic nightmare given the fact that it physiologically mirrors what happens when we sleep. So that one time your friend fell asleep during yoga class? Par for the course. Classic meditation or sexual meditation, it can all help calm your mind and send you off for the evening.

 

Routine & Sleep Quality

Like zillions of TikTok and Insta videos will tell you, establishing a bedtime routine is the right move for better quality sleep. If you nerded out over Pavlov back in your school days, you may already know that established routines can affect the body on both conscious and subconscious levels. So setting (and sticking to!) a bedtime routine can signal to the body that it’s time to wind down for the night. Incorporating masturbation into your nightly routine might just be the key to a better night’s sleep. 

By understanding the hormonal and psychological benefits, as well as recognizing its meditative qualities, you know just how to switch things up and give your sleep quality a boost! So the next time you find yourself tossing and turning, consider a little self-love as a sendoff.

Serena Clement

Serena Clement

WORDSMITH & ASPIRING SEX TOY MAVEN
Serena Clement (she/her/hers) is a Senior Writer at Pure Romance and an aficionado of all things sextech. As a queer BIPOC with a B.A. in English and Minor in Creative Writing, Serena is a fresh, no-nonsense voice in the world of sexuality and wellness. In and out of the office, her interests include crafting engaging copy, celebrating diversity, and up-and-coming sex technology. Her years-long background in both product development and copywriting gives her a unique lens for her career at Pure Romance. And, when not at work on upcoming products, Serena spends time scribbling flash fiction or cozying up on her couch with the latest RPG.