Sex can be rewarding at pretty much any time of the day. Just one steamy session can reduce stress, improve sleep and boost your mood. But when it comes to doing the deed in the morning, one has to wonder if, like breakfast, there are additional benefits that sex at no other time of day can provide
Circadian rhythm and reproductive hormones peak in the morning, said Megan Fleming, Ph.D., who is a certified relationship therapist and clinical psychologist in New York. Not only are you likely to be at your most alert in the morning, but you’re also more likely to be at your most aroused state (testosterone levels are the highest in the morning which is a reason for morning wood). Being relaxed and well rested promotes arousal as well. As adults, early mornings and busy days may cause stress levels to increase as the day continues. This can mean you’re less likely to find yourself in a state of heightened libido by the end of the day. That’s why relationship experts often recommend scheduling sex as opposed to relying on spontaneity.
Gina Senarighi, Ph.D., CPC, and certified intimacy and relationship coach, said she often hears one or both partners in a relationship say they just can’t get in the mood until their to-do list is done. She added that her clients prefer to have sex on weekend mornings more than any other time because it feels like vacation sex—intimacy that occurs when you’re well-rested and free of everyday stressors. If you schedule sex at the end of the night, you’ll likely keep pushing it off until you’ve accomplished a certain number of tasks; by that point, you’re ready for sleep, not sex, she said.
That’s one major reason why Guy, a 29-year-old musician from Brooklyn, now prefers morning sex to late night encounters. He explained that because he’s older now and he falls asleep earlier than he used to, sex has become more convenient to have in the morning. Not to mention, when you orgasm, your brain receives a boost of serotonin and dopamine, two feel-good hormones that may make your day a little sweeter. Depending on how vigorously you get into it, you could also find yourself experiencing feelings similar to that of a runner’s high, said Fleming, who compares the hormones released during a rambunctious sex session to endorphins delivered during cardio. And like a long morning run, a session in the sack reduces cortisol levels, which alleviates stress and anxiety.
“If you’re someone whose partner has a low libido, finding the time of day or the place that they are most relaxed…is really going to go a long way,” said Senarighi. Since partners with lower sex drives are often the ones who are most distracted or stressed during the day or at night, she said, that moment of clarity could very well be in the morning. Because the “love hormone” oxytocin is also released during sex, you may find yourself feeling closer to your S.O. after some morning intimacy. And according to a 2012 study published in Journal of Neuroscience, the release of this hormone may make you feel more secure in your relationship and all-around more fulfilled.
Just be aware that you might find yourself tempted to fall back asleep once you and your partner are through, thanks to an increase in prolactin production post-orgasm. If you’re someone who grows tired immediately post-sex, you might want to give yourself ample time before you need to get out of bed, Fleming recommended. And if you rely on coffee first thing, maybe hold off on your morning cup until after you climax.