SLEEPY DOES IT How having sex in these positions can help you sleep BETTER
"I'M too tired" is usually the excuse to avoid a bedtime romp.
But now research has shown sex can actually help you sleep better - particularly when you do it doggy style.
More than 1,600 people had their sleep monitored in a study to see if they slept better following sex.
They were told to try out 25 popular sex positions over a three-month period to see which ones improved REM sleep.
REM sleep is a stage of sleep when you dream most vividly.
You cycle through all stages of non-REM and REM sleep several times during the night, with more REM sleep periods towards the morning.
The study by TheDozyOwl.co.uk - a website that gives advice for a better night’s sleep - found doggy style is the sex position that sends people off into dreamyland the most.
After doing doggy, REM made up 33 per cent of participants sleep - a 43 per cent increase on the typical 23 per cent REM each night.
The lotus position (39 per cent), the eagle (35 per cent) and the bridge (30 per cent) are among the sex positions that increased REM the most.
However, trying out the corkscrew before bed has been found to decrease REM sleep the most – by 26 per cent.
Horizontal, better known as a "69er", decreased REM sleep by 22 per cent, and the spider by 17 per cent.
And standing sex also reduced REM sleep by 17 per cent.
REM sleep should make up just under a quarter of a person’s night sleep.
It is considered important because it stimulates parts of brain involved with memory and learning.
It also helps to process emotions, experts say.
But too much may be linked with depression, according to one concerning study, although it wasn’t clear which one causes the other.
Why does sex help with sleep?
The fIndings showed sex increased men’s REM sleep more than women’s - 12 per cent compared with two per cent.
Alex Ion, one of the contributors to TheDozyOwl.co.uk, says this may be because “women are 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”, they claimed.
But it also may come down to the fact women simply don't orgasm as much as men.
Previously research has suggested adults sleep better after climaxing - when a surge of hormones are released.
Alex said: “Aside from the physical nature of sex, the primary reason it can increase your REM sleep, is that during intercourse a hormone called oxytocin is released.
"Also known as the 'love hormone', oxytocin lowers cortisol levels [related to stress] in the brain making you feel more relaxed.
"High levels of cortisol result in anxiety, faster heart rate and ultimately a worse sleep!"
Women can experience a spike in oestrogen, which helps with REM sleep, while men get a surge of prolactin, which causes tiredness, according to Healthline.