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Sex Before Bed Can Nearly Double Your REM Sleep

REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) is seen as the most important stage of our sleep cycle as it stimulates areas of the brain essential for learning and memory. REM should make up around 23% of our sleep. 

Intrigued to find out if sex can impact sleep cycles, experts at The Dozy Owl conducted a study looking into the impact of different sex positions on our REM sleep.

1,652 participants were asked to wear a sleep monitor to bed after having sex in one designated position.

Participants tried out each of the chosen twenty-five popular positions over a three month period, revealing the sex positions that improve our REM sleep the most.*

Sex Positions that Increase REM the Most: 

TheDozyOwl.co.uk found that having sex before bed can increase REM sleep by an average of 8%, with men seeing a 12% average increase, whilst women only see a 2% average increase.

Alex Ion, expert at TheDozyOwl.co.uk contributes this to “women being more mentally stimulated during intercourse than men who are more physically stimulated. Women, are therefore more likely to be alert after sex, whereas men are typically tired after ejaculation.”

RankSex PositionAverage REM of Male Participants After Sex  (%)Average REM of Female Participants After Sex  (%)Total Average REM After Sex (%)Percentage Increase from Average REM  (23%)
1Doggy Style35303343
2Lotus33313239
3Eagle36263135
4The Bridge32283030
5Cowgirl32252926
6Flatiron31262926
7The Caboose26332822
86927272717
9Leap Frog31222717
10G-Whiz30212613

Dozy Owl can reveal that doggy style is the sex position that will increase your REM sleep the most. After doing doggy before bed, REM contributed to 33% of participants sleep score which is a 43% increase from the average of 23% REM a night.

In second place is the lotus position which has been found to increase REM sleep by an average of 39%. Surprisingly, this female dominated position seems more tiring for men who recorded on average 33% REM after intercourse, whilst women totalled only 31%. 

The eagle ranks in third place, with participants seeing an average of 32% REM after intercourse – this is a 35% increase from the estimated average of 23% REM per night. The eagle is the position most likely to send your Mrs to sleep, with women seeing a 56% increase in REM thereafter– the highest across the board. 

The eagle is followed by the bridge (30% increase), cowgirl (26% increase), and flatiron (26% increase) – ranking respectively fourth, fifth and sixth. The sex position that improves a man’s sleep the most is cowgirl, increasing his REM by an average of 32%. 

Sex Positions that Decrease REM the Most: 

Rank Sex PositionAverage REM Male Participants After Sex (%)Average REM Female Participants After Sex (%)Total Average REM After Sex %)Percentage Decrease from Average REM (23%)
1The corkscrew16181726
2Horizontal 6916201822
3The Spider19191917
4Standing sex18201917
5Valedictorian18212013
6Missionary1824219
7Pretzel Dip2221224
8Ballet Dancers2917230
9Spooning2818230
10Magic Mountain2124230

The corkscrew is seemingly the most stimulating position, decreasing REM sleep by 26%, with participants getting only 17% REM on average after screwing late at night. 

The corkscrew is closely followed by horizontal 69, decreasing REM sleep by an average of 22%. This lazy take on one of the most popular forms of foreplay is seemingly more mentally stimulating then the original, with men seeing an average of 16% REM and women seeing an average of 20%.

The spider, also known as the scissor, and standing sex follow closely in second place with REM sleep contributing to only 19% of participants sleep, which is 17% less than average.

Valedictorian, missionary and the pretzel dip are among the sex positions most likely to decrease your REM sleep

*Methodology: 

  1. Experts at thedozyowl.co.uk collected data from various sources to select 25 popular sex positions  
  2. 1,652 participants (826 couples: 822 men and 810 women) were sent a sleep monitor and guide for the 25 selected sex positions. Participants were asked to wear a sleep monitor to bed after having sex in one designated position for the majority of the intercourse. Study conducted over 3 months.
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