Hi, I'm a man and my poor sleep has improved when I completed the Sleepio course in Spring 2013. Occasionally now I feel I need to improve my sleep. One issue/habit that comes to mind is masturbation. It's a long time habit that I do this just before sleep. Very occasionally I feel this is unhealthy for my body and spirit, so I take a break. Also before, when I had poorer sleep and was awake during the night, I would masturbate and this mostly got me back to sleep. Any helpful suggestions/comments please?
Hi improving sleeper,
Congratulations for posting this brave, (and rather lonely) comment on a very obvious topic. Many years ago, some people believed that masturbation was unhealthy, and even today, maybe some religions may not look kindly on it. However, I think most people now accept it as a normal, harmless part of life. But it really depends on your own personal belief, and if you feel conflicted about it, this could cause you more problems than it solves. Like any other activity we try to help us with sleep problems, if it helps, and nobody is being adversely affected, I'd say it's ok. The last thing any of us need is increased worry, stress and anxiety, especially about things that don't warrant it.
Megan's answer is a good one. I would just add- have a look in the Library at Simon Kyle's article Sex and Sleep.
The Prof told us that the only activities allowed in bed are sleep and sex. The time recording system only allows for time asleep or awake, so after a 'night of passion', either one has to cheat on recording the times or have a lower % sleep efficiency. And 'sex' isn't one of the Sleep Tags provided. It would be interesting to hear how other Sleepio members deal with this issue (if they aren't too tired from Sleep Restriction)!
I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a problem reconciling these two.
I'm on a 5hr sleep window at the moment – bed at 12.45, up at 5.45. With the instructions to allow only 15 mins getting to sleep in bed and to get up immediately on waking, I'm wondering where/how people fit in their sex lives??
By the time I get to bed at 12.45 my wife is usually asleep and if I were to start waking her regularly at 5.45 feeling frisky (though how often do we genuinely feel like getting it on at 5.45 in the morning?) she'd probably give me the elbow.
I know we can have sex not in the bedroom and not at bed time, but sometimes thats what I/we want; have sex and fall asleep in each others arms. To do that at the moment I'd have to go to bed early, make love, get up, leave my wife to sleep and go back to bed again a short while later – how unsexy is that? Or make sure I time it that we finish around 12.45 and that i stick to my 15 minute falling asleep window, again – who enjoys making love with one eye on the clock?
I suppose one could plan nights that are off the schedule and you can make love when you want and fall asleep when you want? But even that takes away spontaneity which I suppose is the root of the problem – SR doesn't allow for much spontaneity and a decent sex life needs a decent amount of spontaneity.
Maybe too personal a question but how do others get round the restrictiveness of sleep restriction?
I'd posted my comment above as a new topic but the mods decided to drop it in here instead. It looks like you too have been wondering how to navigate around the slightly limited options in the sleep diary.
I think the only way to get round the issue you mention is to either move time for sex so that it is before bed and therefore probably not in the bedroom either or, like you say, just cheat on the times. Or, I find getting back into bed a little while before my wife gets up is a good time – plus I don't feel I have to alter my “what time did you get out of bed” time.
Fwiw I added sex as one of the tags, though it would be interesting if we could select more than one tag at a time when making evaluations.
Hi Sleepee and Oscars,
I really don't think Sleepio is as restrictive as you think. I believe it's perfectly okay to have sex in your bed with your partner and then get up again (QHR) if you're not sleepy or it's not your bedtime (in order to maintain SR), or fall asleep in your partner's arms if you are sleepy and it's near your bedtime.
Sleepee, you can create your own sleep tag for sex. I agree the sleep diary doesn't give you an opportunity to record time for sex and this would be a good suggestion for Sleepio Bugs and Ideas. It seems to me that the main intent of the diary is to capture the amount of time in bed that you are awake but trying to sleep as opposed to awake and having sex. If you get into bed well before your SW, have sex and then set about sleeping, that latter time is what you would log as getting into bed. If you had sex after the start of your SW and then stayed in bed, you would log the time you started to sleep as your getting into bed time.
You don't have to go to bed at your bedtime – only if you're tired enough to do so, but you should get up at the wake-up time, even if you went to bed later, in order to get yourself and your sleep on track.
If you had passionate sex all night, you'll have to subtract approximately the time you spent having sex so that you are only recording the amount of time you were trying to sleep or awake not having sex. I agree, from writing this now, that something needs to change in the sleep diary, but this is how you could capture your sleep until that happens. Since this discussion seems to be new, I would hazard a guess that that's how other members have gotten around this. Me too!
Wow Angie, I am so impressed you managed to sort that answer so clearly and concisely. Well done.X
Me too Angie. X
Thanks Angief. Yes, I suppose taking a more relaxed attitude in general to times/timing is the way to go but an extra option in the sleep diary would be useful.
I'm really surprised this is the only thread on the whole site mentioning sex specifically, though given it is a site dedicated to insomnia perhaps everyone is too knackered!
Personally, my insomnia is linked to a type of hyperarousal (which is not an overdose of Viagra, as it may sound) which fortunately seems to have no negative effect on libido, if anything – the reverse. Though I imagine it is a lot more common for peoples sex lives and/or attitudes toward sex to be negatively impacted by insomnia – another topic which is also seems surprisingly absent from any discussion.
There appears to be only one article in the library about sex and sleep. I've wondered too why there isn't more discussion about it here. (Once you've graduated, you'll be invited to the graduate common room – there're lots of references to it there so it's clearly on people's minds.)
Perhaps as you say, people are too knackered to even think about it. It's a very positive step that improvingsleeper started this thread and hopefully more will come out of the woodwork to join the discussion.
It might be a good idea to pose a question about hyperarousal on the expert session – they're every wednesday – just to bring the topic to the forefront.
Interestingly, I think I can see that some of the “negative” thoughts contributing to wakefulness around bedtime surround issues like--“Are we going to make love tonight…should I try to relax or be seductive…etc.” Now that my sleep window is much later than my wife's, if I am going to bed there is no question that it is to sleep. And if we are going to make love, we plan for it. I think this has been surprisingly stress relieving. Since you are on session 4 and have just a five hour sleep window, I'm guessing that you a very much in the thick of it, and nowhere near what you hope to have as your long-term goal. From my experience I would say: by all means, continue to make love in bed, but be willing to experiment with separating “bedtime” from “sexy time.”
I am wondering if anyone else has experienced that sex makes them more awake rather then relaxed…no matter what the source…everywhere it is always said or taken as a sure thing that sex makes you relax…for me it´s like doing exercise right before wanting to sleep…and that doesn´t help…