On good sex and good sleep.
Tell us a bit about Great Sexpectations
Aleeya: Great Sexpectations was born out of lockdown 1.0 as a way to combine everything I learned and use in therapy to educate and normalise the conversation around sex, pleasure, and fertility. I wanted the content to be digestible and approachable, using soft imagery that was representative of all sexualities and genders to be more accessible to a wider audience. It started off small, but we have quite the community and it has afforded me some fantastic opportunities to further normalise the conversation.
How important are sex and intimacy to a person's general wellbeing?
Aleeya: Now more than ever, ‘self-care’ is integral to health and wellbeing. However, when we traditionally think of self-care, we think of getting enough sleep, exercise, eating right, etc. Sex and intimacy are rarely considered, and yet social connection, pleasure, and intimacy are just as important. Sex improves mood, boosts immunity, and provides us with a sense of connection and belonging that as humans, we crave from others. It’s also pleasurable, and we can all use a bit of pleasure in our lives right now.
Something people didn't know about sex and good sleep?
Aleeya: Sex can contribute to better sleep! After an orgasm, the body releases hormones such as oxytocin and prolactin, which promoting the feeling of relaxation and in some cases, drowsiness. Sexual activity also reduces the production of cortisol, decreasing stress in the body. Sexual activity can be with a partner, or through self-pleasure, and studies show that orgasm before bed improves sleep quality as well increasing the time it takes to fall asleep. A good reason to head to bed a little early.
Books on your bedside?
Aleeya: I am currently reading ‘The First Forty Days’ by Heng Ou. I am 29 weeks pregnant, and am scrambling to do my best to prepare for the postpartum period in case we find ourselves in an extended lockdown! I’m also incredibly interested in nutrition as medicine and this book has some wonderful healing recipes.
Aleeya: At the moment I have been binging Beyond the Bump in preparation for bebe, but as an avid beauty lover, Fat Mascara will always be my favourite.
How has pregnancy impacted your sleep?
Aleeya: Where do I start? My sleep has fluctuated so much throughout my pregnancy. In the first trimester, I was put on sleeping tablets as I had terrible nausea (ended up having the deepest sleeps of my life!) In the third trimester, my current night-time troubles include leg cramps and an overactive baby that loves to party between 2am and 4am. I am trying my best to soak up all of the sleep now while I can.
Aleeya wears our Stone and Peach softwear sets. Made from natural wood sources, our softwear is buttery-soft, breathable, moisture-wicking and always keeps its cool. We use this to create our comfy French Terry, for a plush pile on the inside and a smooth finish on the outside.