Alarm. Walk dog. Change diapers. Change wet sheets. Feed Kids. Throw on clothes, maybe makeup. Pack kids lunches. Get kids ready. Drop kids off. Pray for short line at Starbucks. Traffic. Work. Work. Facebook check. More work. Lunch at desk. Work….
Exhausted yet? We are. In fact, this scenario is mild compared to some of your busy schedules. Finding the time to get your sleep, and feeling like you’ve actually had it, can seem like an impossible task. Unfortunately, with schedules this hectic, often time in a relationship the first thing to take a back seat is SEX. It’s not that you don’t want it. You do. BUT you’re exhausted and the only thing turning you on is the idea of your head hitting a pillow.
Something’s gotta give… but should it be sex? We asked Carin Goldstein, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and mother of two very busy children, to give us the scoop on sex vs. sleep!
Is there ever a time when forfeiting sex for sleep is a good idea?
It Depends. Obviously, if one is struggling with a physical illness, or for example, the recent birth of a baby, one’s body may need sufficient rest to allow their body to heal, recuperate and feel strong enough to enjoy every day life - in which case, foregoing sex for a short period of time is completely understandable. Also, parents today (especially with young children) can feel so exhausted and rundown from the day in and day out of caring for children, running a houshold, holding a job outside of the house, etc., that if for one night, one or both partners need to take a rain check on the sex and simply “crash” once the kids are tucked away, then chances are he or she will feel more rested and eager to have sex with their partner. It’s all about the healthy balance.
However, there are couples who, because of their lack of intimacy which each other, have gotten into an unhealthy pattern of making themselves believe that it’s okay to pass up or avoid sex for sleep, more than not. This avoidant pattern can be very unhealthy not only for the relationship of the couple, but also for each individual. Research has proven that sex can boost immunity, lower anxiety, improve intimacy (as a result of the release of oxytocin - the bonding hormone), and most importantly research has shown that having more sex will improve one’s overall sleep.
A little extra shut eye is a good thing, but parents should never underestimate the power of good old fashioned sex.
At what point do marriages suffer from lack of sex…?Click here to find out.