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How Porn Addiction Can Affect Your Sleep

The CDC reports that 1 in 3 adults doesn’t get enough sleep which, according to the National Sleep Foundation, is between 7 and 9 hours. Countless things can interrupt your sleep patterns from chronic pain and anxiety to overeating or consuming too much alcohol before bed. One thing most people don’t associate with insomnia (the inability to fall or stay asleep) is viewing pornography. In fact, some people intentionally watch pornography and masturbate before bed, in hopes of achieving ultimate relaxation. Unfortunately, this habit is doing more harm than good.

Here we’ll take a closer look at how porn addiction can negatively affect your sleep and ways to improve your sleep habits and routine.

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Why People View Pornography Before Bed

In a world where 33% of adults report feeling stressed, everyone is looking for ways to unwind, destress, and get a good night’s sleep. Racing thoughts, financial obligations, and poor sleep habits can all result in a night of tossing and turning. This is why some people view porn and masturbate before bed.

This habit extends beyond the addiction to sexual content itself and extends to the belief that having an orgasm relaxes you and helps you fall asleep faster. Chances are, there are countless people out there who can attest to the fact that following climax, their partner rolls over and is asleep within seconds. While there may be some truth to this theory, there’s also plenty of potential downsides.

When you orgasm, your body releases certain hormones including prolactin and oxytocin, which create feelings of happiness, pleasure, and relaxation. In turn, these chemicals can help reduce your body’s cortisol levels and stress, making it easier to fall asleep. While this may be true for actual sexual intercourse, achieving orgasm through masturbation and the use of pornography can create an unhealthy, negative situation.

Let’s take a closer look at exactly how porn addiction affects your sleep and why it may not be the answer to those sleepless nights after all.

The Negative Relationship Between Porn Addiction and Sleep

Porn addiction is a serious problem for nearly 40 million people. Some view porn as a replacement for damaged relationships or lack of intimacy. Others use it as a form of stress relief.

Regardless of the reason you view pornography, the negative effects are undeniable. If you think your porn addiction troubles end the minute your head hits the pillow, think again. Your addiction can actually be disrupting your sleep and causing underlying damage. Here’s how.

Chemical Imbalance 

Your body is a complex place filled with countless chemicals that impact everything from your emotions to your physical health and even your mental well-being. Addiction negatively interferes with these chemicals.

For starters, like with any addiction, viewing pornography triggers the brain to release chemicals like dopamine that elicit feelings of happiness, pleasure, and relaxation. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, over time, your body won’t react to these same levels of feel-good chemicals. Instead, you’ll need to consume (view) more pornography to achieve the same results. This is how an addiction forms. 

At this point, your internal biology is out of balance and your rational brain is trying to figure out what to do next based on past experiences. To help ease this discomfort, you’ll feel the urge to do whatever it takes to feel good — in this case, view pornography. Low dopamine levels can also cause a long list of unpleasant feelings including anxiety, depression, anger, fatigue, and low energy levels. 

When the chemicals in your body are unbalanced, it makes it difficult to fall and stay asleep. You may find yourself feeling overly energized or “wired”. You may also feel anxious or even guilty over the thought of viewing pornography again or relapsing.

The biggest chemical imbalance porn addicts face is reduced levels of melatonin. The screen of your computer, smartphone, or tablet emits a blue light which, research shows, reduces the levels of melatonin created and released by your brain. Melatonin is the chemical that helps prepare your body and mind for sleep. Without it, you’ll have difficulty falling and staying asleep. Even if you masturbate after viewing pornography, the blue light damage is already done. 

Increased Stress and Anxiety 

Porn addiction can cause stress and anxiety in all aspects of your life. The more stressed you are, the harder it is to fall asleep. Racing thoughts, increased heart rate, and sweating are all physical reactions to stress that can keep you up at night.

While some people use porn to reduce stress and anxiety, over time, it has the opposite effect. One of the main causes of stress for porn addicts is feelings of guilt and shame over their addiction. Many sufferers keep their addiction a secret from friends and loved ones — especially their partners. Harboring a secret or living a double life can be extremely stressful and disrupt your sleep.

Porn addiction can fracture even the strongest romantic relationships. Lack of intimacy, unrealistic expectations, and an emotional disconnect are all common side effects of porn addiction. Some addicts even resent their partners, creating a volatile situation. If you’re still sharing a bed with your partner, this tension can make it nearly impossible to sleep soundly. 

Financial stress affects over 70% of the population. If you’re spending your money on exclusive pornographic content, live chats, or other explicit materials, you may be feeling the financial burden. The inability to pay your bills or hiding your financial woes from your partner or roommate can cause extreme anxiety and distress, consuming your mind at night.

Choosing Porn Over Sleep

For extreme porn addicts, it can be impossible to pull themselves away from videos, photographs, and other content. Skipping sleep altogether to continue viewing porn is a major problem, both for your mental and physical health.

For starters, your body needs adequate sleep at night to function. Without it, you’ll find it difficult to concentrate and focus. Your cognition and memory will also be compromised and you may feel disorientated. In terms of your physical health, sleep deprivation can cause headaches, extreme fatigue, high blood pressure, and weight gain.

Create a Healthy Sleep Routine and Habits

If your porn addiction is interfering with your sleep, it’s time to adopt a healthy sleep routine. Putting certain habits into place can not only improve your sleep but help you adopt healthier habits to replace pornography.

Set an Alarm

This sleep tip goes for both morning and night. Try getting up and going to bed around the same time each day. While this isn’t always possible, getting into a consistent routine can help prepare your body for sleep and to tackle the day.

Avoid Screens an Hour Before Bed

This is an especially helpful tip for porn addicts. Studies show that you should ditch the screens 60 to 90 minutes before bed. That means no TV, no computer, no smartphone, and no, not even your Kindle! Why? You guessed it — it’s those pesky blue lights again! Ditch your electronics for a book, journaling, or a calming meditation.

Create an Oasis for Sleep

Your bedroom should be a quiet, welcoming oasis, far from the stress of your daily life. Pamper yourself by creating a relaxing atmosphere free from stress, work, or reminders of the day. Designate your bed for sleep and sleep alone. That means no work and definitely no viewing pornography and/or masturbating. This might be difficult since many people associate the bedroom with sex. Intimacy with your partner is something different and should be embraced, but for the purposes of overcoming porn addiction, you should avoid masturbating or viewing porn in bed. Try lighting candles, using an essential oil diffuser, or playing soft music. Spoil yourself with new, high-quality bedding, a comfortable mattress, or even ambient lighting around your ceiling.

Join Our Sleep Therapy Program!

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Say Goodbye to Porn and Hello to a Good Night’s Sleep

Say goodbye to those sleepless, restless nights. If you’re feeling especially rundown, worn out, depressed, or disorientated, it could be due to lack of sleep. Porn addiction can interfere with your sleep patterns in a variety of ways. Staring at a screen, adding stress to your life, and even causing health issues could all impact your sleep patterns in a negative way.

Everyone should adopt a consistent sleep routine and adopt healthy habits for overall well-being, but this is especially important for porn addicts looking to break free from their addiction and the vicious cycle of sleepless nights.

The Stop Together program is designed to help you overcome your addiction once and for all from the privacy of your own home. With guided meditation, journaling, and goal setting, you can finally adopt a healthier way of life and leave your life of addiction far behind. Start your journey today!

Sleep Therapy At Home

Our guided insomnia treatment program has helped over 2,000 users sleep better, faster & longer – all from the comfort of their own home.

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