Imagine the kind of pressure a man goes through as he paces up and down the corridors of the labour ward as he awaits for his wife to deliver their bundle of joy. Every second counts and even five minutes feels like eternity!
This anxiety can be likened to what Kenyans are going through at the moment. Most people are nervous as we anxiously wait for a sign from Bomas. Granted, there are situations in life where our patience runs out or is tested to the limit.
When patience wears out, tension and anxiety slowly builds up and stress is almost inevitable. When most people are stressed, they are usually irritable, angry and can experience digestive troubles, fatigue and muscle pain or insomnia.
At a time when stress levels are skyrocketing, it would be wise to involve yourself in activities proven to reduce stress.
Experts agree that sex is the perfect recipe for de-stressing. It is also great to release bodily or mental tension. An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away and this might be what your body is craving.
Sex relieves stress and tension by triggering the release of the ‘feel good’ hormone, oxytocin. Interestingly, this is the same hormone that is released during exercise… and it works in the same way during ‘sexercise’. No wonder regular exercise is often recommended to ward off stress.
It’s no surprise that sex feels good and such a pleasurable act can help bring down your stress levels. However, knowing why and how sex does it may be the reason you need to indulge.
A session of steamy sex with earth-shattering orgasms might not be everyone’s cure but no doubt has scientific backing on curing stress.
We demystify some of the scientific ways a good session helps to de-stress you:
Keep insomnia at bay with good sex
Why else do you think men roll over after sex? Research proves that the activities preceding sex and the act itself may result in sweet slumber, not to mention it can make you fall asleep faster.
Rise in oxytocin levels and prolactin, a hormone which is released after orgasm that 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.
Sex as the perfect mood booster
Why stay in a foul mood all day or go around insulting people because of a situation that is beyond you?
Gift yourself with the perfect distraction, which helps you take your mind off stressful happenings around you. You’ll be happy to know that studies reveal that married couples who have sex were more likely to have a positive mood the next day at work.
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, 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.
Sex increases 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.
Sex increases endorphins in your body
Endorphins are not hormones but they are also released during coitus. They are neurotransmitters and like oxytocin, endorphins can also relieve stress and boost your mood.
Sex reduces cortisol levels 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 boosting your mood and reducing your stress levels. And can lead to less of a stressful response during challenging situations, which is a healthy thing.
Of course, if stress is coming between you and your partner, it would be important to work on managing the stress and embrace healthy ways to cope.