News Release

Survey finds that sex is as good as — or better than — a sleeping pill

Most adults reported sleeping better after sex

Reports and Proceedings

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

DARIEN, IL – A new study to be presented at the SLEEP 2023 annual meeting found three out of four adults reported sleeping better after sex, and the majority felt that a sleeping pill had a similar or worse effect on their sleep.

Results show that 75% of survey respondents reported that they slept better after having sex close to bedtime, and the majority reported experiencing a moderate improvement in their sleep on those nights. Sixty-four percent of respondents also felt that sleeping pills had a similar or worse effect on their sleep compared to sex.

“Little scientific data exists around the impact of sex and orgasm on sleep quality,” said lead author Dr. Douglas Kirsch, medical director of sleep medicine at Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina. “While this data is quite preliminary, it was interesting how often sex was used to aid in sleep.”

The study involved 53 adults who completed an eight-question online survey that was shared on social media. Eighty-nine percent of respondents were between the ages of 25 and 49 years, and 53% were female.

According to Kirsch and co-author Dr. Seema Khosla, medical director of the North Dakota Center for Sleep in Fargo, films and books have commonly suggested that people fall asleep faster after sexual activity. However, little research has explored this association, and additional questions need to be answered.

Kirsch stated that he is curious to know if the impact of sex on sleep is primarily a physiological process related to orgasm. If not, then he wonders if similar results could be derived after meaningful connection between partners without sex.

“This preliminary data starts a conversation about a mostly unexplored area around sex and insomnia,” said Khosla.

The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and will be presented Tuesday, June 6, during SLEEP 2023 in Indianapolis. SLEEP is the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.


Abstract TitleHow well does sexual activity improve sleep when compared with pharmacologic sleep aids?
Abstract ID: 0405
Poster Presentation Date: Tuesday, June 6, 12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. EDT, Board 281
Presenter: Dr. Douglas Kirsch

For a copy of the abstract or to arrange an interview with the study author or a sleep expert, please send an email to

About the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC

The APSS is a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. The APSS organizes the SLEEP annual meeting each June.

About the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Established in 1975, the AASM advances sleep care and enhances sleep health to improve lives. The AASM has a combined membership of 12,000 accredited sleep centers and individuals, including physicians, scientists and other health care professionals who care for patients with sleep disorders. As the leader in the sleep field, the AASM sets standards and promotes excellence in sleep medicine health care, education and research (

About the Sleep Research Society 

The SRS is a professional membership society that advances sleep and circadian science. The SRS provides forums for the exchange of information, establishes and maintains standards of reporting and classifies data in the field of sleep research, and collaborates with other organizations to foster scientific investigation on sleep and its disorders. The SRS also publishes the peer-reviewed, scientific journals Sleep and Sleep Advances (

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