In addition to providing sexual satisfaction, masturbation can also relieve restless leg syndrome (RLS), a new study finds.
Restless leg syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes an irresistible urge to move the legs even while sleeping. It is often accompanied by unpleasant sensations in the lower limbs, such as tingling, itching, and aching.
The exact cause of restless leg syndrome is still unknown, but researchers believe that an imbalance of dopamine could be a culprit, and drugs that increase dopamine have been shown to relieve RLS when taken at bedtime.
Dr. Luis Marin and his colleagues reported the case of a 41-year-old man with RLS who after being on medication for RLS discovered his own solution – having sex. Following sex, the man reported that all RLS symptoms would disappear. They speculated that the release of dopamine following orgasm might alleviate RLS symptoms.
“An orgasm provides one of the biggest natural blasts of dopamine available to us,” said Marlin.
When Gert Holstege at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and colleagues scanned the brains of ejaculating men, he said the resulting images resembled scans of heroin rushes.
This temporary increase in dopamine may act in a similar way to drugs that mimic the hormone, granting the man enough relief from his restless legs to allow him a full night’s sleep.
The findings have been reported in Sleep Science.