2 minute read

Does masturbation really help you sleep?

By Joe Young | Medically reviewed by Dr Luke Pratsides

When it comes to sleep, you've probably heard of dream catchers, cheese-induced nightmares, and waking up on the wrong side of the bed. But have you ever wondered if masturbation could solve restless nights? 

Let's delve into the science behind the connection between masturbation and sleep.

Can masturbation help you relax before sleep?

For you to sleep, you need to be relaxed. One of the main reasons masturbation is linked to better sleep is because of the relaxation effect.

When you have sex or masturbate and reach climax, your body is flooded with endorphins - a natural “feel good” chemical. This wave of relaxation can help you unwind and prepare for a restful night. 

Can masturbation reduce stress and anxiety?

Masturbation can be a helpful tool for reducing stress and anxiety. According to Bondara's masturbation survey, over half of respondents reported using it as stress relief. Engaging in pleasurable self-stimulation can make it difficult to focus on anything else, giving all-new meaning to tossing and turning in bed.

Stress and sleep often make for an unpleasant combination. Masturbation offers a way to distance yourself from stressful thoughts, and this benefit extends beyond bedtime hours. A survey of 2,000 people found that 49% of people have masturbated during work hours. You know who you are. 

What hormonal changes occur during orgasm and how do they relate to sleep?

Orgasms trigger the release of various hormones which may help with sleep, including oxytocin and dopamine.


These powerful hormones could be the combination you need to drift off into dreamland - whilst having some fun in the process.

But will masturbating definitely help me sleep?

One study had 778 participants report their sleep quality, either after masturbation or after having sex with a partner. About 54% reported sleeping better after having an orgasm from masturbation.

But the research is limited - there’s no definitive proof of a direct link between masturbation and improved sleep.  

The chemicals released in your body as you orgasm can make you feel relaxed and happy, leading to better sleep - but there is no guarantee. Individual experiences may be wildly different. In fact, some people may feel overstimulated or more energetic after masturbating. 

Sleep is a complex process influenced by various factors, including lifestyle, environment, and overall health. And every body is different. 

The numan take

Masturbation might have sleep-enhancing benefits. And it’s much more exciting than counting sheep. But there’s no guarantee masturbation will help you on your way to dreamland. If you’re intrigued, it’s worth exploring what works for you so you can take proactive steps towards combating restless nights.