Maximize Sex and Sleep With a Master Bedroom Makeover
If your sex game has been subpar lately, and you're looking for ways to improve the frequency and intensity of your action, it might be time to take a look around your bedroom. As they say in real estate, it's all about three things: location, location, location.
The interrelationship between sex, sleep and the environment you create for both is very real. A clean, clutter-free, nice-smelling space is going to help you catch more flies (so to speak) and zzz's than a dark, dank and messy space.
If your sheets are old and ragged, you rarely make your bed, the mattress has seen better days and your laundry hamper is full to spilling, then chances are your sex life is similarly messy.
Here's everything you need to know to make over your bedroom…and, hopefully, your sex life.
Good sleep leads to more sex (and vice versa)
Investing in a master bedroom makeover may seem like a waste of money, especially if your budget is tight.
However, don't underestimate the ripple effects a bedroom upgrade can have on your overall health. For instance, sleep is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle, and when you're well-rested, you're more likely to eat healthfully and have energy for exercise, you're better equipped to handle stress, and with the added energy you gain, you're more likely to be ready for and interested in sex.
This isn't conjecture, either. A 2015 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine indicated women who had just one more hour of sleep than their peers experienced greater next-day sexual desire and a 14 percent increase in odds of engaging in partnered sexual activity.
Likewise, a 2020 study published in Translational Andrology and Urology found a relationship for men between erectile dysfunction (ED) and sleep: Men who slept fewer hours were more likely to experience ED and other hypogonadal symptoms.
In essence, sleep and sex, as with many other healthy behaviors, work together: When you enjoy better sleep, you're more likely to enjoy better sex.
"Proper sleep hygiene is vital for mental and physical health," said Wyatt Fisher, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist specializing in marriage counseling with a practice in Boulder, Colorado. Fisher emphasized that physical health includes having an active sex life.
"A fulfilling sex life is important for your relationship and it also has numerous health benefits, such as lowering your stress, which also promotes better sleep," Fisher added.
In essence, sleep and sex, as with many other healthy behaviors, work together: When you enjoy better sleep, you're more likely to enjoy better sex. In turn, this can improve your sleep, which can continue to improve your sex life. And so on.
Unfortunately, it works the other way, too. If you're struggling to make time for sleep, you're going to struggle to make time for sex. With less sleep and less sex, you're more likely to have higher stress and poor health habits that further reduce the inclination to pursue sex.
So when it comes to prioritizing sleep and sex, it's important to recognize that the state of your master bedroom really matters. If you hate spending time in your bed because it's uncomfortable, or you can't focus on your partner because the space is messy, your sleep and sex life are going to suffer.
Start by upgrading that mattress
Admittedly, replacing an old or uncomfortable mattress can feel daunting. Not only is it a major expense, but what happens if you invest a significant chunk of money in a mattress that ends up feeling just as uncomfortable as the one you've had for years? These are valid concerns, but if your mattress is messing with your sleep, it's time to initiate a change.
"Make sure your mattress is the right firmness," says Ryan Fiorenzi, a certified sleep coach and the founder of Start Sleeping. "Try sleeping on different mattresses, like if you travel and sleep in a hotel, to see what works best for you. Or, you could take advantage of the many mattress companies that now offer a 100-night in-home trial."
This is an especially nice option because these companies deliver a mattress directly to your door, and if you decide you don't like it, there's no cost for you to send it back (and you'll receive a full refund). Popular brands like Casper, Purple and Bear all have in-home trials, so don't feel shy about test-driving a couple of different options.
If the expense of an entire mattress change is out of the question, Fiorenzi suggests looking into mattress toppers. A few inches of memory foam may not be quite the same as switching out an entire mattress, but it could help, and at a smaller cost.
Fiorenzi had one other piece of advice: "Your mattress shouldn't be making you hot. If it is, get a cooling mattress topper."
Invest in great bedding
When it comes to sleep and sex, it's not just the mattress that makes a difference—quality bedding can make you want to spend more time between the sheets.
Again, Fiorenzi pointed to memory foam pillows that provide cooling properties and ample support, while Fisher suggested silk sheets to amp up the sensuality.
Of course, if you're on a budget, two other quick fixes can make all the difference. First, make sure you're changing and washing your bedding regularly. You should be doing this at least once a week, although a more frequent schedule may make you feel even better about your bedroom.
Second, make sure you actually make your bed in the morning. A clean, nicely made bed will be a welcoming invitation to hop in and relax at the end of a tough day.
Pay attention to all of your senses
A calm, inviting space is critical to both sex and sleep, and the atmosphere relies on more than reduced clutter or soft sheets.
"Make sure your room is really dark and quiet," Fiorenzi said. "Consider the air quality of your room, especially if you have any breathing issues, such as asthma or allergies."
Of course, if you live in an apartment complex, have roommates or kids, or your bedroom windows receive a lot of sunlight, these tips may be easier said than done. However, Fiorenzi pointed to simple, relatively inexpensive fixes, like adding blackout curtains, wearing a sleep mask or using earplugs while sleeping.
It's worth noting that blocking out sound can go both ways. If you invest in soundproof panels (you can even purchase acoustic panels that have a decorative flair), not only will you be able to sleep in a quieter space, but whatever noise you and your partner create will be less likely to escape to neighboring rooms.
You want to try to remove any negative distractions and add sensual details.
And if you're really trying to amp up the sex appeal in your bedroom, take a step back and try to view your space with fresh eyes. You want to try to remove any negative distractions and add sensual details. First, get rid of unnecessary clutter or anything you regularly go to bed feeling annoyed by. For instance, if your side table is filled with junk, go ahead and toss what you don't need. If the paint on the walls has seen better days, take a weekend to update the colors, opting for something cool, light and soothing. And if Fido insists on sleeping in your room, make sure you wash the dog bed on a regular basis to get rid of lingering pet smells.
Once you've made those fixes, Fisher suggests adding candles to create low, sensual lighting, a portable speaker to play a romantic playlist and a "toy chest" you can grab from.
"These fixes are worth the investment," Fisher says. "Long-term relationships are prone to boredom sexually. Therefore, couples must intentionally invest in their sexual relationship to help make their bedroom an oasis for sexual exploration and connection."
Reserve your bedroom for just sleep and sex
"Be sure to do nothing else in your bedroom besides rest and sex," Fisher adds. "You want your body and mind to associate your room with these two activities, and only these two activities, so you'll be less distracted—and less stressed out—when you enter your space."
This means you shouldn't bring your laptop or smartphone to bed with you, you shouldn't be brushing your daughter's hair in the bed or watching the Final Four from the comfort of your pillows. These activities are distractions that can shift your focus from the two activities that can promote your best health and happiest relationship.
It doesn't have to be hard or too expensive to update your master bedroom, and a few changes can do wonders for your sleep and sex life.
You do have to approach these changes with intention, as it's easy to allow old habits to die hard. If your sex life is important to you, a quiet, clean, cool sleeping space without clutter and distractions can go a long way toward getting you (and your partner) in the mood.