Doing this before bed could nearly DOUBLE your REM sleep

New study says this adults-only activity equals better sleep (bad news for sleep-deprived singletons)

feet in bed
(Image credit: Womanizer WOW Tech on Unsplash)

The pandemic has had a negative impact on many people's sleep routines. There are a bunch of tried-and-tested things you can do to help you sleep better at night (or fall asleep faster), but here's one we haven't heard before. 

Apparently, sex before bed can have a massively positive impact on your sleep quality, with new research showing an increase in REM sleep of up to a whopping 43%. REM sleep is seen as the most important stage of the sleep cycle – this is what stimulates areas of the brain essential for learning and memory.

Bad news if you're locked down alone. (Although if you want to see if solo endeavours can have the same result, head to our best sex toys guide).

The improvement on sleep quality depends on how you do it. Research covered a range of positions, from Cowgirl to Caboose (no, we're not sure either).  For the most effective results you need to go for Doggy Style (which increased average REM sleep by 43%), Lotus (39% increase) or Eagle (35% increase). 

The study also found that this 'technique' was typically 10% more effective for men than women. Alex Ion, expert at, says this is likely due to “women being more mentally stimulated during intercourse than men, who are more physically stimulated. Women, are therefore more likely to be alert after sex, whereas men are typically tired after ejaculation.”

Not all sex is key to a blissful night's kip either. Positions to avoid include Horizontal 69 (decrease of 22%) and standing sex (down 17%). And definitely don't tackle the Corkscrew if you have an early morning – this saw an average decrease in REM sleep of 26%. 

The data comes from, and was collected by asking 1,652 participants to wear a sleep tracker to bed after having sex in a range of designated positions over a three month period.

Ruth Hamilton

Ruth is a lifestyle journalist specialising in sleep and wellbeing. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle and will talk at length about them to anyone who shows even a passing interest, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy for fear of getting smothered in the night. As well as following all the industry trends and advancements in the mattress and bedding world, she regularly speaks to certified experts to delve into the science behind a great night's sleep, and offer you advice to help you get there. She's currently Sleep Editor on Tom's Guide and TechRadar, and prior to that ran the Outdoors and Wellness channels on T3 (now covered by Matt Kollat and Beth Girdler-Maslen respectively).