Video: Is Sleep the New Sex?

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updated 2/13/2006 11:31:43 AM ET 2006-02-13T16:31:43
TRANSCRIPT

With all the time and money now being spent on achieving a better night's sleep, “Forbes” says sleep is now the new sex.  Laura Berman, the director of the Berman Center for Women's Sexual health joined 'Situation’ to discuss the study published in 'Forbes’ as well as this disturbing new trend.

To read an excerpt from their conversation, continue to the text below. To watch the video, click on the "Launch" button to the right.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, 'SITUATION’:  This is depressing as hell.  Is this real?

LAURA BERMAN, DIRECTOR, BERMAN CENTER FOR WOMEN'S SEXUAL HEALTH:  Well, in many ways it is real.  We are sleep deprived as a nation.  And we are trying to fit too much into 24-hour day- sleeping pills and sleeping aids and sleeping mattresses, “Forbes” is right, are on overdrive and being sold like crazy.  But I think the main reason people are sleepless is primarily because of stress and depression more than anything else. 

CARLSON:  Not because they're having too much sex?

BERMAN:  No.  They're not having enough sex.  And ironically, the amazing part is that sex can actually really help you with sleep. 

And what ends up happening is that you try to pack too much in.  You get into bed.  You're stressed.  You're uptight.  And then you start getting stressed about not being able to fall asleep, and that keeps you even more sleepless. 

Instead, you should try having sex.  It will help you sleep, because it releases endorphins and you feel better about yourself.  Or try to relax; give each other a massage.  Or you can do two for one.  In fact, I was just seeing that KY came out with a two in one massage/touch product where it doubles as a massage lotion or massage product, as well as a lubricant.  So you can get two for one. 

CARLSON:  At KY, they think of everything. 

BERMAN:  Yes.

CARLSON:  Can you imagine a scenario in which sleep porn becomes popular?

BERMAN:  There you go.  You can wear those glasses or, you know, blindfold that has a video image running.  And that will be the new kind of sex.  We like multitasking, so you can get two done at once. 

CARLSON:  Is there really a sleep crisis?  I mean, it seems like one of those perennial stories, like LSD is coming back.  “TIME” magazine does a cover on that every decade or so.  Is there really a sleep crisis, though?  Are people really sleeping less?

BERMAN:  They really are.  And it is a real issue because it becomes a vicious cycle.  As we're stressed and depressed, and so we're not sleeping.  And we're trying to fit too much in and we're too anxious and we're too worried about everything we have to get done.

And we don't get enough sleep and that not only represses our immune system, but it makes us more stressed and depressed, and the cycle continues.  We need to look at this as a society and Americans, because it's not only, you know, the fact that we're avoiding sex, but we're really not taking care of our bodies and ourselves and making that time for sleep. 

CARLSON:  If you were to give three tips—and I know you had a show with your sister that provided tips like this.  I thought it was a great show.

BERMAN:  Thank you.

CARLSON:  You've got another show coming up on Showtime this summer, I think, on this topic.  What are your quick sex tips for improving the intimacy in your life?

BERMAN:  I actually just did a big study on intimacy and found that couples who kiss regularly and spontaneously not only have higher levels of intimacy, general intimacy, but also have decreased levels of stress and depression. 

So instead of taking those sleeping aids, sleeping aids and buying that $1,000 mattress, try just kissing your partner more and cuddling them more. 

We also found that sexual satisfaction not only is a stress reliever but impacts intimacy.  Taking a vacation together, going on a date night a week, taking care of yourself, exercising.  All of that will do great things for your stress levels, to alleviate depression, to enhance your relationship, which really enhances your quality of life and your sense of well being, which will all contribute to your sleep. 

And if you do have a sleep problem that is really significant, before you start popping those pills, go to a sleep lab, go to a behaviorist.  Don't get caught into the cycle of taking these pills in a way that's going to make you dependent and just create the problem be a band aid for a much larger problem. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  I think that's wise advice.  And finally, in one word, your choice is dinner or a movie.  Not dinner and a movie.  Dinner or a movie.  What do you choose?

Definitely dinner, because a movie, you're not talking to each other. 

Watch 'The Situation with Tucker Carlson' each weeknight at 11 p.m. ET

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