Here’s What Happens to Your Body When You Have Sex First Thing in the Morning
Whether solo or partnered, sex can offer a number of physiological and well-being benefits, like reducing PMS symptoms and improving sleep quality, to name just two. But, are certain times of day better primed for reaping those health effects? Does, for example, having sex in the morning offer more benefits than doing so at night, when you may feel tired and apt to phone it in?
“Having sex in the morning may cause you to release the hormone oxytocin, and this can have beneficial effects on social bonding, so, it might help you to feel more connected to your partner,” says Amy Roskin, MD, board-certified OB/GYN and the chief medical officer at online reproductive health and birth-control company The Pill Club.
“Having sex in the morning may cause you to release the hormone oxytocin, and this can have beneficial effects on social bonding.” —Amy Roskin, MD
That said, she caveats that there’s no conclusive scientific or medical research to suggest having sex in the morning (or any other time of day) makes it inherently better or more beneficial than sex at other times can be. Anecdotally, though, some people may prefer morning sex, making the experience better and, thus, leading to more of those positive effects of sex, like a decrease in cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure and levels of anxiety and depression.”
So, certainly, as far as morning sex goes, there are well-being benefits, particularly for morning people who like to get up and get going. But what else might be happening to the body when we have sex in the morning? Read on for six benefits that sexual health experts say can happen to your body when you engage in sex first thing in the morning.
6 benefits of sex in the morning for early birds who like to get the worm 1. Arousal may come more naturally (because some sex hormone levels are higher)
According to gynecologist and sexual wellness and intimacy expert Christie Cobb, MD, the “happy hormone” dopamine can factor heavily into morning sex. “With normal sleep cycles, dopamine is highest in the morning, which may facilitate arousal,” says Dr. Cobb.
Sexologist Rebecca Alvarez Story, founder of the intimacy marketplace Bloomi, agrees, adding that other sex hormones play into morning sex, as well. “Generally, both people with penises and vulvas have higher levels of testosterone or estrogen levels in the morning because our bodies work to replenish all kinds of hormones, including sex hormones, overnight,” she says. “Vulvas experience an increase in blood flow during the REM cycle, while penises produce testosterone, which may result in arousal and erection.”
2. You get all the feel-good chemicals to start your day and bond you to a partner
“Sexual arousal releases norepinephrine, which gets our hearts pumping and blood flowing to the genitals for engorgement and erection,” says Dr. Cobb. “Arousal—and climax, specifically—is associated with the release of oxytocin.” Oxytocin, often called the “cuddling hormone,” can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, she adds.
In partnered morning sex, in particular, the release of oxytocin can also bring you and your partner together, setting you both up to having a great day. “Bonding and attachment are two other important functions [of oxytocin], so a turbo boost in the morning can help foster a sense of well-being between partners,” adds Dr. Cobb.
3. You’re apt to be more present during sex
Whether you’re a parent, have a big work presentation coming up, or are feeling guilty that your space isn’t as clean as you’d like, when you have sex later at night, you may be likely to have the day’s worth of events on your mind. That’s why Dr. Cobb says having sex in the morning—before you feel like you have to get a head-start on your day’s tasks—can be great for ensuring sexual presence.
“One of the best strategies for [avoiding] sexual distraction is practicing mindfulness,” says Dr. Cobb. “This is often better accomplished in the morning, before the pressure of the ‘to-do’ list moves into our brain.”
4. It jump-starts your day with energy
A morning routine can really set you up for the day and can even lead to better sleep at night. Because they body tends to operate according to the routines we create, you “may feel more motivated to wake up and become energized if sex is incorporated into your morning regimen,” Story says. “Sex can act as a reward system for getting a good night’s rest and help you jump-start your day.”
5. You get moving first thing
“Similar to a workout, this is a great way for your body to start the day. And like exercise, sex burns calories,” says Dr. Cobb.
6. It can make your sex routine feel more novel
For folks who typically think of sex as a nighttime activity, doing it in the morning can actually lead to more excitement about having it when the sun comes up. “The lighting is different, the temperature may be warmer or cooler, stomachs aren’t full, and we are rested,” says Dr. Roskin. “Our brains crave novelty, so anything that makes a sexual encounter unique will also increase how much dopamine is released and lead to a more rewarding experience.”
But, ultimately, while there certainly are potential benefits of having sex in the morning, none should serve as an impetus to force yourself into an a.m. sesh if you don’t want to do so. “Having sex in the morning isn’t the only way to release endorphins or oxytocin,” says Dr. Roskin. “As long as you’re practicing safe, consensual sex that makes you feel happy and healthy, that’s all that matters.”
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