Hat tip to Marvin Gaye: sexual healing may be more than just words to a song. A recent study from The Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that there may be a correlation between sexual health/satisfaction and quality of life. The same study also found that participants in poorer health reported lower rates of sexual satisfaction. At Vault, we’re committed to optimizing all facets of your health, including your sex life.
Whether you’re having fun with a new partner or looking to improve an established relationship, here are six ways to help you have better sex—and maybe even boost your overall health.
1) Stock Up on Melatonin
Though controlled trials have yet to be published, there’s some early evidence that melatonin may enhance libido in men. For men with ED, additional data shows a link between low serum melatonin levels and ED. If clinical trials support these early findings, melatonin replacements—like those found in over-the-counter supplements—may be able to play a role in the treatment of ED and low sex drive.
Melatonin is commonly used for sleep aid and has little to no side effects. To see if it helps boost your libido, try taking 2-4 mg shortly before sexual activity. (As a bonus, if your partner is female and postmenopausal, studies show that melatonin can significantly improve sexual function for her, too.)
2) Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Just as regular physical activity and a healthy diet can support cardiovascular health—and a satisfying sex life—consuming excessive sugar can wreck your sexual performance.
According to Mark Hyman, MD, a renowned advocate in the field of Functional Medicine, eating or drinking copious amounts of sugar can lower testosterone, create leptin resistance (a crucial hormone that monitors sexual behavior), and reduce growth hormone (GH) production—another important hormone that improves muscle mass, burns body fat, and maintains libido. Keep your sex hormones in balance by regularly choosing low sugar foods and you’ll likely notice an improvement in your performance, too.
3) Practice Breathwork
If you’ve looked around our site, you might remember a post about how breathwork can control how our nervous system responds to environmental or emotional stressors. This same mechanism means that it can also benefit your sex life.
Chronic stress increases cortisol and epinephrine levels throughout the body, which in turn can affect testosterone production, suppress libido, and even cause ED.
Finding an effective way to manage everyday stress can have a positive impact on your libido and sexual performance, and incorporating breathwork into your routine is an easy way to keep stress levels at bay and support a healthy sex drive. Here are a few go-to methods to try.
4) Explore Scientifically Proven Herbal Aphrodisiacs
New studies show that some plants and herbs are scientifically proven to boost arousal and improve pleasure and performance in both men and women.
For example, adding common herbs like nutmeg and saffron into your diet may help improve libido, while maca—an Andean plant traditionally used for its aphrodisiac and fertility enhancing properties—has been shown to improve sexual performance.
5) Know How to Kegel
Chances are you’ve heard of kegel exercises, but did you know that they are effective for men, too? Practicing kegel exercises can help strengthen pelvic floor muscles, which in turn supports stronger erections, better orgasms, and ejaculations.
Just like any other muscle group, the more consistently you strengthen these muscles the better. But unlike other exercises, kegel movements and sensations are subtle. To practice, imagine how your body would stop the flow of urine or avoid passing gas. Contract and hold these muscles for just a few seconds at a time—while not putting any pressure on nearby muscles in the abdomen or buttocks.
Not sure how to perform these exercises correctly? Reach out to your provider for first-time guidance.
6) Get Adequate Sleep
Regularly getting adequate (and quality) sleep can make or break your mental and physical health. But if you’re frequently running on a sleep deficit, your testosterone levels—and subsequent sexual performance—may suffer. In one study, a decrease of up to 15% in daytime testosterone levels occurred after just one week of not getting adequate sleep.
Your body needs testosterone to maintain sex drive and healthy erections. So if you want to ensure optimal sexual performance, try these tips for improving your sleep hygiene.
These are just a handful of ways to enhance your sex life. But if you’re looking for an extra boost, book an online visit with a Vault provider today to see if one of our tailored treatments is right for you.