NoFap sleep and NoFap insomnia is a personal topic for me.
As long as I could remember—before I even knew about the NoFap challenge—I’ve had a serious sleeping disorder called sleep apnea.
What I didn’t know back then was that I was using porn and masturbation to keep my insomnia and sleep disorder at bay.
So, when I started doing the NoFap challenge and took porn and masturbation out of the equation, I went through serious insomnia for the first month. It was hell!!
I would just lie on the bed all hyped because of the extra energy from NoPMO and won’t be able to go to sleep.
And during the day, I would feel fatigued, nauseated, depressed, and sleepy. When the night came around again, rinse, and repeat.
I eventually dug myself out of this no-sleep land. But it was a slow dug-out.
If you’re doing the NoFap challenge, and you find yourself in a similar situation—where you have to pray to all the gods you know to get a decent night’s sleep, I want you to know that you can also get out of that hole.
It’s easy to get better sleep on NoFap, but you have to start doing some simple practices consistently.
Consistently being the keyword.
What’s a good night’s sleep?
Before we get into how to start getting better sleep when you’re doing the NoFap challenge, what constitutes a good night’s sleep in the first place?
What would have had to happen between the time you hit the bed and the time you woke up? So that in the morning, you can boldly say, “I had a good night’s sleep.”
Well, the answer will surprise you. It didn’t have much to do with the quantity of your sleep (i.e. the number of snooze time you got) but much more to do with the quality.
According to the good people at the National Sleep Foundation (who painstakingly reviewed 277 previous studies on sleep), for you to have a good night’s sleep, you must fulfill all the four conditions listed below;
- You fall asleep in less than thirty minutes when you hit the bed at night;
- You wake up (for more than five minutes) not more than once before you finally wake up;
- At the time you do wake up during your sleep, it isn’t longer than twenty minutes;
- You’re asleep for 85% or more of the total time you spend in bed.1
Side-effects of not getting a good night’s sleep when you’re doing the NoFap challenge
When you’re not getting good and quality sleep in the night, or you’re not able to log the required hours of sleep needed, you might start noticing some of the things listed below;
- Increased brain fog: hazy memory, lack of focus and concentration, and so on.
- It contributes to the NoFap flatline by lowering your sex drive
- It can lead to a NoFap relapse
- Mood swings during the day
- Fatigue during the day
- Migraine during the day
- Increase in blood pressure levels
- Feeling sleepy during the day
- Increase in impulsivity: an increased tendency to indulge in other dopamine-spiking habits like sugar consumption, excessive video gaming, and so on.
Not all NoFap Insomnias are created equal
If you’ve been having sleeping issues pre-NoFap challenge, you probably have a sleeping disorder that you need to pay close attention to.
Because just like me, when you start the NoFap challenge, it’ll likely get worse—turn into full-blown insomnia.
Before you can conclude you have a sleep disorder, these are some of the signs you would’ve noticed;
- Constantly taking more than 30 minutes to fall asleep
- Constantly feeling sleepy during the day and/or even taking long naps during the day
- Loud snoring, labored breathing or making gasping noises while you sleep. This can indicate a more serious sleep disorder like sleep apnea.
- Difficulty focusing and concentrating (brain fog)
- Constantly waking up while you’re sleeping and finding it difficult to go back to sleep
- Fatigue during the day.2
Before you started the NoFap challenge, if you haven’t noticed any of the signs listed above, but you start seeing them when you’re doing the NoFap challenge, or you’re not getting a good night’s sleep during your NoFap challenge, before you start panicking, I want you to know that insomnia is one of the withdrawal symptoms of NoFap.
And soon (usually after one month of the NoFap challenge), it will pass. Your sleep cycle will regulate and things will be back to normal.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the tips I’ll recommend in this post to help you get quality sleep even when you’re passing through the withdrawal symptom phase of NoFap challenge.
How porn and masturbation addiction impacted your sleep cycle
Let me quickly let you in on how PMO damaged your sleep cycle.
And also let you in on why you’re now experiencing insomnia as a withdrawal symptom;
The secretion of prolactin when you PMO
Prolactin is the hormone that’s secreted when you ejaculate. This hormone is also known as the sleep hormone.
It’s secreted to kill off the desire for sex after ejaculation.
Its secretion is inversely proportional to dopamine secretion. When dopamine is high, prolactin is low. And when prolactin level is high, dopamine falls to its lowest.
This is why when you’re excited/motivated to do something, no matter what time of day it is, you wouldn’t fall asleep.
When you masturbate to porn (especially right before bed), prolactin is released. You start feeling sleepy no matter what time of day it is.
Most PMO addicts use porn and they masturbate right before they go to bed.
The prolactin released helps them fall asleep easily. And their body has gotten used to this prolactin secretion.
When you’re doing the NoFap challenge, PMO has been removed from the equation. This means no more prolactin before bed.
It’ll take a while for your body to adjust to this new reality. Hence, you might have insomnia for the first month or so when you’re doing the NoFap challenge.
The release of energy when you PMO
For us to fall asleep, there has to be a relaxation of some kind. Our muscles, our energy levels should all be relaxed to induce sleep.
And one thing that PMOing does best is the release of energy.
When you do it before bed, or anytime in the day, it’s going to make you feel relaxed.
But as you already know, this relaxation comes at various heavy prices that your penis and your brain pay.
When you start doing the NoFap challenge, this energy release outlet won’t be available anymore. So, it’ll take your body some time to re-adjust.
Habituating the process of PMO right before bed
If PMOing is the last thing you do before bed, your brain has habituated the sequence of this habit.
Your brain has associated porn and masturbation to sleep.
Gradually, it would’ve gotten to the stage that without one, the other won’t happen easily.
Blocking off emotions (or worries) that might hinder sleep
When you have a lot on your mind, it can be hard to fall asleep.
As you’re using PMO to suppress these emotions right before you sleep, your body gets used to it.
When you start doing the NoFap challenge and the emotions start coming to the surface, you might find it more difficult to fall asleep.
9 tips to help you cure NoFap Insomnia
The food and drink you consume during the day and how you fall asleep, have crucial roles they play when it comes to the quality of the sleep you get in the night.
The tips I’m about to give you start from things you should do before you get into your bedroom at night.
After that, things you should do to/in your bedroom. And finally, things you should do once you hit the bed.
Have (and keep) a consistent bedtime come hell or high water
Let’s say you pick 9 pm as the time you go to bed at night, all you need to do is keep it consistent. I don’t care how tight your schedule is, don’t break it.
When you’re doing the NoFap challenge, for the first month, if you’re finding it difficult to fall/stay asleep, this is your first antidote. Just stick to it.
This simple process of keeping a consistent bedtime has been shown by a study on 160 Taiwanese undergraduate students to greatly increase their sleep quality.3
Keeping a consistent bedtime schedule strengthens your circadian rhythm according to the study.
The circadian rhythm, in simpler terms, is the biological clock that your body operates on.
This clock functions on your habits around sleep such as your bedtime schedule.
After one or two weeks, your body will adjust itself to the new schedule. And you should see improvements in your sleep quality.
Have a hot/warm bath 90 minutes before bed
Precisely 90 minutes before your bedtime, go have yourself a warm/hot bath.
This is very effective in getting you to fall asleep quickly.
At the University of Texas in Austin, researchers did a meta-analysis on 5,322 studies on sleep and found that at ideally 90 minutes before bedtime, bathing with water between 40 to 43℃, you can fall asleep 10 minutes quicker than you normally do.4
And this is several minutes that will have tremendous positive effects on the quality of your sleep.5
The timing of what you eat and drink leading to your bedtime is crucial
The constant interruption of sleep during the night affects the quality of sleep.
One of the things that usually interrupt sleep in the middle of the night is having to pee.
If you aren’t diabetic (or have any other underlying condition that makes you pee frequently at night), this peeing issue can be easily resolved.
How do you resolve it?
Stop any drinking about two hours to your bedtime. It could be water or soda, don’t drink any liquid two hours to bed.
It’s as simple as that.
Another thing that gets people awake in the middle of the night (or prevents them from getting any sleep at all) and affects their sleep patterns is constipation or indigestion.
This happens if you eat very close to your bedtime.
Ideally, you shouldn’t eat anything again after 6 pm. That’s the best practice.
Try any of these drinks in the evening to enhance your sleep quality
Speaking of drinking before bed, some drinks do enhance sleep quality.
Some of these drinks contain tryptophan and melatonin. While some of these drinks help you relax and this allows your body to better induce sleep.
The only thing you need to watch for is to make sure you don’t have any of these drinks less than two hours before bed.
To sleep better when you’re doing the NoFap challenge, these are some of the drinks that health researchers have tested and proven to enhance your ability to fall asleep.
These drinks also enhance your ability to have better sleep;
- Warm milk: contains tryptophan which increases melatonin levels
- Chamomile tea: it reduces anxiety and can improve sleep quality
- Pure coconut water: filled with magnesium and potassium (which helps to relax muscles. It’s also full of vitamin B which reduces stress levels.
- Banana-almond smoothie: these—banana and almond—are rich in tryptophan, melatonin, magnesium, and potassium. You can make this drink by blending 1 banana with 237ml of almond milk. And add small water (usually half a cup).
- Valerian tea: Not the tea Khaleesi drinks in Game of Thrones (that’s a fictional country!). This is a tea gotten from the root of an herb called valerian. This herb grows in parts of Asia and some of North America. Although it’s been in use for a long time by ancient people to treat sleep disorders, it has also been clinically tested and proven to cure insomnia by scientists.
You can choose any of these drinks and stick to it if it works best for you.
Cut back on your caffeine intake
On the subject of drinks that affect sleep, it’s time to talk about the drink that’s keeping most adults awake; CAFFEINE.
Because of the brain fog that’s plagued the society, many adults have turned to caffeinated products to stay awake, and function.
If you want your NoFap insomnia cured, or you want better sleep during your NoFap challenge, this is one drink to cut back on or remove from your diet.
If you can’t cut back on caffeinated drinks, any time after 2 pm, don’t consume caffeine.
You’d be doing your sleep a solid if you start doing this.
And don’t stop at caffeine. Any other stimulants like alcohol, some drugs (like aphrodisiacs, weed), that can hinder your sleep should all be reduced to the bare minimum if they can’t be stopped altogether.
You should become conscious of these drinks and drugs. If you must have them, do it not later than 2 pm.
Switch off all devices one hour before bed
Switch off all your devices—mobile phones, tablets, computers, TVs—at least one hour before your bedtime.
The blue light emitted by your devices suppresses the secretion of the melatonin hormone—the hormone that regulates your sleep and wake cycle and your circadian rhythm.
Apart from messing with your hormones, your devices also keep your brain alert when it’s supposed to switch off and relax.6
The best practice is to be done with all your devices one hour before your bedtime and also don’t bring them with you to the bedroom.
Because not only can they keep you from falling asleep, they can also interrupt your sleep.
You can get a call or an email notification in the middle of the night. And you can find it difficult to go back to sleep.
Speaking of things to bring into your bedroom at night, that’s what the next item on the list address.
Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary
Your habits should have a home. That’s the fastest way to make them stick.
For instance, when you walk into your kitchen, you’re induced to cook.
That’s because your kitchen is the only place in your house where you cook.
It’s the only room in your house optimized for cooking—that’s where your cooker and utensils are located.
In the same regard, your bedroom area should solely be for sleeping. It should be optimized for sleeping.
So that anytime you step into your bedroom, your senses are stimulated to relax. So you can fall asleep easily.
Tips to optimize your bedroom for sleep and turn it into a sleep sanctuary:
- You want dim lights in your bedroom at night. This is if you need to turn on the light at all. Ideally, you want to turn off the light. This will help your body’s circadian rhythm. It will also help your body to secrete melatonin.
- Don’t put a TV in your room. If you already have one, take it down and take it to the sitting room.
- Also, you don’t want to be bringing any of your devices with you into your bedroom (in the night).
- If you have a speaker or you can afford one, you can install one in your room. This will allow you to play relaxing music or brainwave sounds that allows your brain to quickly reach the alpha state to fall asleep quicker.
Meditate right before you sleep
If you’re doing the NoFap challenge, you should be doing one form of meditation or the other.
Nothing relaxes the mind faster than meditation. Meditation deeply relaxes the mind to the point of inducing sleep.
So, if you’re finding it difficult to sleep better during your NoFap challenge, you should consider doing mindfulness meditation when you’re already on the bed.
You can do this by focusing on your breath. It calms your mind and reduces the emotions and thoughts keeping you awake.
Pick up a book and read
For some people (including me), books are natural sleep-inducing drugs. Books relax the mind.
This can be quite useful if you’re having NoFap insomnia.
You might have to try different genres until you finally find the one that does it for you.
My thesis on the simulation of the effects of greenhouse gases on the climate parameters of North America does it for me.
I almost fell asleep re-reading that last line. Wow!!
I don’t make it past the first page.
You should try and find the genres that do it for you.
A friend of mine loves his personal development books at night. He said nothing makes him fall asleep faster than reading those.
One thing I would caution you about reading to fall asleep is that you should read the physical book. Don’t be reading from your devices when you’re on the bed at night. That’s what I’ve been telling you since the beginning.
[Conclusion] NoFap Sleep: How to cure your insomnia when you’re on the NoFap challenge
If falling or staying asleep during the first month of your NoFap challenge is the problem, or you have a full-blown sleep disorder, my first advice; don’t panic.
For those that are just experiencing NoFap insomnia, it’s not a permanent thing. By following some of the tips outlined above, your sleep will get better on your NoFap challenge.
For those of you that have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, you should start doing the tips above religiously. Your sleep will get better. Your insomnia will get better. Believe me, I know. I have sleep apnea. And I’m also doing the NoFap challenge. Trust me, it gets better!!
But don’t stop at that! Schedule a visit with your physician and have a test done and get a professional opinion.
If this post has been any help to you, share it with others. Don’t be a selfish human being.
Sources and Footnotes
- The first of its kind report on sleep quality recommendations by the National Sleep Foundation published in the sleep health journal.
- For more on the signs of a sleep disorder and how to do self-diagnosis, I found this really helpful article on Healthline you can check out.
- Effects of an irregular bedtime schedule on sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, and fatigue among university students in Taiwan.
- Before-bedtime passive body heating by warm shower or bath to improve sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis
- If you take into account that one of the criteria for a quality sleep set forth by the sleep foundation is falling asleep under 30 minutes, decreasing this time by a whopping 10 minutes is GREAT.
- I first learned about how devices affect our sleep patterns in an article by the National Sleep Foundation: Challenging Ways Technology Affects Your Sleep.