An orgasm a day keeps stress at bay

Hormone known to relieve stress and tension is released during sex

In Summary

• Science has proven that regular sex helps to fight insomnia and bad moods

Lovers in bed
Lovers in bed

Regular sex is not always guaranteed, especially when one is not in a committed relationship. During these 'dry spells', women are usually on the receiving end and often accused of being moody and with a foul attitude as a result of not having sex. But what does lack of sex have to do with our moods, whether we are male or female?

While too much sex can lead to bruises and soreness, strained muscles and body exhaustion, not to mention occasional fractures and vaginal infections, the lack of it can impact on our health adversely.

Science tells us that a lack of physical intimacy will not only make one feel lonely and isolated but also has the potential to increase your anxiety levels and can lead to trouble sleeping. On average, couples enjoy intimacy once a week, and some have a higher frequency while others hardly get intimate, which impacts on their general wellbeing.

Granted, most couples are too busy making a living, and intimacy ends up taking a backseat. It's a fast-paced world and most people are stressed out by life. Stress leaves us angry and easily irritable. Sometimes it is prudent to slow down and smell the flowers. Take time to de-stress, and what better way than making love to your significant other.

Experts agree that sex is the perfect recipe for de-stressing. You can also release bodily or mental tension while enjoying this pleasurable act. An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away, and this might be what your body is craving.

During sex, the 'feel good' hormone, oxytocin, is released, which is known to relieve stress and tension. Interestingly, this is the same hormone that is released during exercise, and it works in the same way during 'sexercise'. Little wonder that regular exercise is often recommended to keep the blues away.

A session of steamy sex with earth-shattering orgasms might not be everyone's cure, but it no doubt has scientific backing on curing stress.

Let's have a look at some scientific ways a good session can help to de-stress you:

1. Good sex can help keep insomnia at bay

Why else do you think he rolls over after sex? Research has proven that foreplay, which precedes sex and the act itself can send you into a deep sweet slumber.

Rise in oxytocin levels and prolactin, a hormone which is released after orgasm, brings about the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness after sex and a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol experienced during sex are a perfect combination for a peaceful, stress-free night.

2. Why not boost your mood with some lovemaking?

Sometimes hormones are to blame for our foul moods. Gift yourself with the perfect distraction, which helps you take your mind off stressful happenings around you. You'll be pleasantly surprised to know that studies reveal that married couples who have sex were more likely to have a positive mood the following day at work.

3. Sex as the ideal 'sexercise'

'Sexperts' tells us that your body burns on average 3 to 4 calories per minute during sex. On average, the sexual act takes about 6 minutes (Yup! beyond that is show-off. Lol!), which translates to burning about 10 to 24 calories in a session.

However, the number of calories you burn during sex could be dependent of your level of enthusiasm, you could burn more or less. And also on how long you can last. With most men ejaculating between 5-10 minutes, research places the average time of ejaculation at 5 and a half minutes.

Sex will not replace the treadmill, but it sure counts for something. As you burn the calories, you gain the stress management benefits of sex that come with exercise.

4. It ups your oxytocin levels

The hormone oxytocin is usually referred to as the 'love hormone' since it is released during foreplay, when you fondle, cuddle or make love to your loved one. Sex brings partners closer, and this physical closeness coupled with an orgasm or two, delivers oxytocin.

Oxytocin has been known to help one relax and relieve feelings of anxiety. Lovemaking has the potential to relax your body and release hormones that are supportive of your overall health and wellness. Sex can also boost dopamine, a 'feel good chemical', which reinforces feelings of pleasure.

Apart from relieving stress, oxytocin also relieves pain and can improve your mood.

In addition, sex releases endorphins, which are not hormones but neurotransmitters. And like oxytocin, endorphins can also relieve stress and boost your mood.

5. Sex reduces the 'stress hormone' in the body

When your body is stressed, it releases adrenalin and cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone. Cortisol, which is made in your adrenal glands, is elevated when we are under stress and is lowered when we relax.

Sex can decrease adrenaline and cortisol, which can help to boost your mood and reduce your stress levels.

However, if stress is creating a wedge between you and your partner, it would be prudent to work on a stress management strategy or seek help from a professional if overwhelmed.

Work on managing your stress levels, and cheers to beautiful sex!

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