Sex dreams can often be an unexpected surprise. They can range from the erotic to the funny to the bizarre, and sometimes they can even end in orgasm. (According to the Kinsey Institute, it is reported that by age 45, 37 percent of women have reached orgasm during a sex dream.)
If you want to increase your likelihood of enjoying sexy slumber, here is some good news: You can increase your sex dreams by sleeping in a certain position. The study, which was published in September in the journal Dreaming, found that people who sleep on their stomachs with their arms above their heads are more likely to have sex dreams than people who do not. They are also more likely to have erotic sex dreams that include activities like bondage or hooking up with a sexy celebrity.
What can account for this link? Researchers theorize that sleeping in this prone position might allow for more genital stimulation (as you are lying directly on your stomach) and that sleeping with your arms above your head might mimic feelings of bondage or intense sex. All this could add up to a night of erotic dreams.
If you want to increase your likelihood of having sex dreams, consider some other possible ways to help ignite your libido, both while you are asleep and awake:
- Sleep in something sexy. Baggy sweats and old flannel pjs might be part of your bedtime routine, but they won’t inspire sexual thoughts before bed. Instead, try wearing a light, sexy nightgown or even sleeping in the buff with your partner. Sleeping with nothing on between you and the sheets will create feelings of sensuality and freedom.
- Have a seductive nighttime routine. Instead of talking about errands and kids right before bed, spark a seductive nighttime routine with your partner. Have time during which you can connect on an emotional level via flirting, kissing, and cuddling as you unwind together. Being present and connected to your partner will not only improve your relationship, it will also inspire deeper sleep and maybe even erotic dreams.
- Keep the kids out of the bedroom. It’s hard to sleep, let alone have sexy dreams, if you and your partner are crowded in your bed by the kids and maybe even a furry friend or two. Cuddling with your kids is important, but it’s also important for them to develop healthy sleep habits and for you and your partner to have “adult” time and space where you can connect as lovers and not just parents. The whole family will end up getting more rest, and you and your partner might just find that your intimacy improves as well.
- Switch off the TV and the laptop. Do this at least an hour before bed. Recent research from the National Sleep Foundation's annual Sleep in America poll shows that two-thirds of people aged 30 to 64 watch television right before bed, while younger people were more likely to spend time on their smartphones or laptops. Not surprisingly, the survey also found that 63 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep, and researchers theorize that the light emitted from television and smartphone screens negatively interrupt our sleep patterns later in the night. Instead of zoning out in front of Leno or typing up work email, shut down the electronics and spoon with your partner.
Try the tips above and listen to music, meditate, or get lost in an erotic novel to help spark some sexy fantasies right before bed. Who knows what sexy dreams your mind will create?
Laura Berman, PhD is a leading sex and relationship educator and therapist, popular TV and radio host, New York Times best-selling author, and assistant clinical professor of ob-gyn and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. She is the star of Couples in Crisis, on the Everyday Health Channel, every Thursday at 1 p.m. EST.