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Why THIS Might Be the Best Time of Day to Have Sex

It definitely has some estimable side benefits.

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photo collage of older couple kissing
Elena Lacey
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“What’s put such a smile on your face?” a nurse asked, as she wheeled my gurney into an operating room. “No one’s this happy to have surgery.”

Already loopy from a pre-op sedative, I blurted, “Morning sex!”

Laughter and “You go, girl,” from the nurse were the last sounds I heard before the propofol kicked in. Back in the recovery room, the nurse informed me that my jubilant comment had sparked a lively conversation among the surgical team. How I’d love to have heard it! Apparently, the anesthetist revealed having had sex at dawn, too.

I’m not someone known to overshare, but I'll divulge that my partner and I had morning sex before heading to the hospital — and I highly recommend it as a pre-op relaxant. If one must forgo coffee at that hour, at least sex is OK before undergoing a minor procedure.

Sex isn’t a topic I would normally bring up in conversation, so I can’t tell you what friends and family members might be up to. I can only speak for myself and my partner — morning is our preferred time for sex.

At ages 80 and 78, respectively, it’s a sublime indulgence when our only pressing responsibility in the morning is to feed and walk the Airedales. We don’t have to scramble to get kids to school or hustle ourselves off to jobs on time. We’re both writers working at home, and we’re at the grandparent stage of life.

Without television in the bedroom — and with our cell phones and laptops well out of reach — we wake up to each other. We have our morning coffee without Morning Joe and catch up on ourselves instead of a host of effervescent news jockeys reporting calamitous events and celebrity gossip.

In that quiet time, with a view of sunlit treetops through the window, one thing leads to another — often intimacy.

Given what I was told of the surgical team’s responses in the operating room, morning sex isn’t such a novelty. Preferring not to nose into the sex lives of people I know, I checked out the internet to learn more. I found no conclusive research indicating that morning sex is more beneficial, or even more pleasurable, than sex at any other time of day or night. But there is considerable scientific data that explains why morning sex is enticing and has some estimable side benefits.

Prime time for passion: 7 to 9 a.m.

Testosterone and estrogen levels replenish overnight during the REM cycle and tend to be higher in the morning, increasing one’s libido upon waking up. Our bodies are primed for sex, with high levels of the hormone dopamine, which is at its peak after a night’s sleep. Oxytocin (a.k.a. the love hormone), which is produced by the hypothalamus and released by the pituitary gland, is also at its highest when you wake up, making you feel relaxed and happy, ready to cuddle.

Improves memory and cognitive function

Women who have more sex have better memories, according to Canadian scientists in a 2016 study. Research by Coventry and Oxford Universities indicates more frequent sexual activity is linked to improved brain function, including verbal fluency. Sexual activity may even promote the growth of cells in the hippocampus, reducing memory loss.

Beneficial to a fitness program, sort of

Sex burns about 5 calories per minute, according to Harvard Health Publishing. That’s about the same as going for a walk, and qualifies as a light workout. But if you prefer the treadmill … up to you.

Makes you feel great all day

Sex triggers the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters that act as the body’s natural pain relievers, stress reducers and mood elevators. Endorphins can promote self-esteem and a feeling of well-being, energizing you to face the day relaxed and confident. I’m happy I could bring my endorphin-rich sense of well-being into the operating room that morning and give the surgical team, most of them half my age, a dose of good humor.

My own self-serving, totally unscientific study concludes that morning sex is a pleasurable way to stay in bed a bit longer. And while it’s good to know that having sex is beneficial to overall well-being, that doesn’t motivate my sexual inclinations any more now than it did in my youth. More likely, morning sex appeals to me because my day no longer begins with the urgent rattle of an alarm clock and a harried dash to get things done. With my hectic, on-the-go middle years behind me, I’ve mellowed. Waking up to a new day is a gift to be savored, not rushed into. I begin with a good cup of coffee. Often enough, intimacy follows.

Who's a fan of morning sex? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Getty Images (3)

Follow Article Topics: Relationships
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