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What if there was a way that you could have more and better sex—and all it would take is a few minutes a day?

November 27, 2015

What if there was a way that you could have more and better sex—and all it would take is a few minutes a day?

Plus, you’d also end up with a stronger immune system and more restful sleep.

Sound too good to be true? It isn’t. In a word: meditation.

“Ask yourself why aren’t you having as much sex as you want to,” meditation expert Emily Fletcher, founder of the New York- and Los Angeles-based Ziva Meditation Center, tells Health. “For one in four cohabitating adult couples in the U.S., the reason is they’re too tired.”

And it's no secret that being tense can kill the mood. We actually have a "fight-or-flight" response to stress programmed into our brains, as Fletcher explained in a recent speech at the Bulletproof Biohacking Conference in Pasadena, Calif. Our bodies release cortisol and adrenaline to help us fight or outrun our attacker. This increases blood pressure and blood sugar levels and suppresses not only the immune system, but our libidos as well.

Even though our modern-day stress is more likely to be over a late train or big Amex bill than something life-threatening, we still react as if we're being hunted by a wild animal. “We’re dumping cortisol and adrenaline in the body, and then we wonder why we can’t get in the mood for sex,” Fletcher says.

So how can meditation help? For one thing, this ancient practice has been proven to improve sleep and mood. Researchers at Harvard found that people who meditate report less insomnia, depression, and fatigue.

If you’ve tried to zen out in the past and thought you “failed” because you couldn’t shut off your thoughts, don't worry. “Forget about clearing your mind,” Fletcher says. “The brain thinks involuntarily, just like the heart beats involuntarily.”

To give it a whirl, sit with your back supported, then repeat the word "one" in your mind over and over, "almost like a mantra," Fletcher advises. "When you realize you're on a thought field trip, gently bring yourself back to 'one.'" Start with 5 minutes a day: "Do it before breakfast,before getting on the computer." As you get more comfortable, increase your session by one minute at a time.

While newbies are best off learning from a meditation teacher, you can still get many of the benefits (including a libido boost) at home using a DVD like Relaxation & Breathing for Meditation ($10.05; Amazon.com), a streaming class—or this morning meditation from our friends at Sonima.

RELATED:

The Beginner's Guide to Meditation

A Sleep Meditation for a Restful Night

A Meditation to De-Stress

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