The Surprising Connection Between Sleep & Sex

Ashley Batz/Bustle

I've always been the kind of person who needs at least eight hours of sleep to be a functioning human the next day — and I'm pretty jealous of people who can just power-nap and go. If you ask me, there's nothing better than the feeling of staying in bed all day, snuggled up with your partner (or pet)... but for tons of people, they'd much rather be up and about than curled up in a blanket fort all the time. But aside from making us, ya know, fundamentally different as human beings, how do our sleeping habits affect our sex lives?

Luckily, the data scientists at OkCupid decided to look into it, and figure out if users' sleeping habits had any correlation with their sexual preferences. "With Daylights Saving Time coming up, we wanted to analyze the sexual habits of sleepers versus non-sleepers to see if there were any compelling differences," OkCupid spokesperson Kelly Cooper tells Bustle. "It was interesting to find that people who spend more time in bed are actually getting less action than people who don’t sleep much. It makes you wonder about these ‘types’ of people and what other unknown traits they might have."

For the study, OkCupid first assigned users to two categories — sleepers and non-sleepers — based on answers to their match questions. They defined sleepers as those who are not morning people, and go to bed before 11 p.m.. Non-sleepers are morning people who go to bed after 1 a.m.  —  so they’re staying up late and waking up early (why though?!).

Users who physically spend more time in bed were less sexually active than those who prefer to sleep fewer hours

According to their data, users who physically spend more time in bed were less sexually active than those who prefer to sleep fewer hours. It might seem counter-intuitive (because bed is where sex usually happens, duh), but LeslieBeth Wish, Ed.D, licensed psychotherapist, author and founder of Love Victory, tells Bustle that it actually makes sense if you think about it. "If you sleep a lot, life seems to slip by," Wish says. "You feel less in charge of you! This lack of feeling good about yourself can taint self-esteem and weaken sexual interest."

If you're curious about how your sleeping habits affect your sex life, here are six interesting observations OkCupid made about their users based on the study's data.


Sleepers Are Less Confident In Bed

When asked how confident in their sexual abilities they are, only 23 percent of sleepers said they felt "super confident," compared to 33 percent of non-sleepers.

Pro tip: practice makes perfect (and it's never too late to become more confident in bed).


More Non-Sleepers Would Date Someone Just For Sex

One of the best things about being in a relationship? You don't have to go through the motions of swiping through Tinder every time you're in the mood to hook up. OkCupid found that 32 percent of non-sleepers said they'd date someone just for the sex, but only 26 percent of sleepers copped to the same thing.


Orgasms Are More Important To Non-Sleepers

Let's get one thing straight: orgasms shouldn't be the end-all-be-all of good sex. Still, there's no denying how awesome they are, and it seems that those who sleep less care a bit more about getting to the big finish. When asked if climaxing was the most important part of sex, 33 percent of non-sleepers answered "yes", compared to 23 percent of sleepers.


Both Groups Find Public Sex Hot

Having sex in public is thrilling because it's taboo (just don't get caught) — and it seems that's something most people can agree on, regardless of their sleeping habits. One-third of sleepers said sex in public is hotter than sex indoors, and 40 percent of non-sleepers felt the same way.


Slightly More Sleepers Think Sex > Love

Even though the sleepyheads of OkCupid might not be as confident in bed, that doesn't mean they don't want it. When asked "Regardless of future plans, what's more interesting to you right now — love or sex?", 18 percent of sleepers said sex, compared to only 15 percent of non-sleepers. The good news? The majority of both groups are looking for love!


Fewer Non-Sleepers Had One-Night Stands

To be clear, there's absolutely nothing wrong with having a one-night stand. OkCupid found that 41 percent of sleepers said they've had a one-night stand, compared to 35 percent of non-sleepers. Maybe those who love to sleep like one night stands because the next day they can crawl back into their own bed instead?

Although your sleeping habits can definitely impact your sex life, there's no hard-and-fast rule that says you'll have less sex if you love to sleep in. Sure, it's interesting to learn more about how our habits and behaviors might affect our romantic life but don't let this stop you from catching some ZZZs *and* some Os.