CLEVELAND, Ohio — What’s the secret to keeping that spark alive in the bedroom? Better communication? More exercise? A new study finds the answer for women may be as simple as better sleep. Researchers with The North American Menopause Society say poor sleep quality can result in a worse sex life for women. The issue can even lead to female sexual dysfunction.
Countless studies have shown how important sleep is for the health of both men and women. A lack of sleep can not only contribute to various health problems, but also reduces overall quality of life.
Study authors say both sleep and sexual function problems become more common as women approach midlife. Over a quarter (26%) of middle-age women experience symptoms of insomnia. Nearly half of all women going through menopause report some form of sleep trouble. On top of that, researchers find up to 43 percent of females also report sexual problems during their menopause transition.
Finding the link between sleep and sex
The NAMS team notes that many studies have examined the link between sleep and sexual health. However, most of that work did not gauge sexual dysfunction using validated tools, according to researchers. They also did not define sexual dysfunction by the presence of sexual issues with a connection to distress.
In the new study, study authors examined over 3,400 women with an average age of 53. The team says they evaluated each individual using validated tools for measuring sleep quality, sleep duration, and sexual health.
The results reveal poor sleep quality, but not lower sleep duration, has a greater chance of triggering female sexual dysfunction. On the other hand, good sleep quality displays a link to more sexual activity.
“This study highlights an association between poor sleep quality and sexual dysfunction. These are two common issues for midlife women and asking about and addressing each may contribute to improved quality of life,” concludes NAMS medical director and senior study author Dr. Stephanie Faubion in a media release.
The study appears in the journal Menopause.