Poor sleep impacts our sex lives, according to new research. The report found a significant number of people were prioritising sleep over sex or sleeping separately from their partner. The research also found that sleep-related issues could contribute to or worsen various health issues among Australians including mental health problems, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system and obesity. The research has been published in The Real Sleep Report 2023 which looks Australians' sleep habits and its impact on work performance, sexual intimacy and what role children have on parents' sleep quality. The study, carried out by Real Insurance and CoreData, surveyed 1,202 Australians over 18 years of age. The research showed that 40 per cent experienced a strain in their relationship because of their partner's sleep issues. Sixty-four per cent of Australians in a serious relationship said sleep issues could keep them awake. Thirty-eight per cent said that sleep issues had led them to consider separate sleeping arrangements. Despite 68 percent saying that their sleep quality improved when engaging in frequent sexual activity, close to half (48 per cent) prioritised sleep over sex, while many (40 per cent) tried to find a balance between the two. Clinical sleep physiologist Tim Stephenson said sleep "plays a crucial role in regulating hormones, energy levels and mood, all of which influence relationships, sexual desire and performance." "When our sleep is poor then we can experience decreased libido, prolonged fatigue and poor concentration which all combine to make sexual activity in any form challenging." Accumulating "sleep debt" could lead to persistent tiredness and sleepiness that could significantly reduce productivity. According to the research, close to a third (31 per cent) of employed Aussies reported that the quantity and quality of their sleep significantly or considerably affected their work performance. In addition, many (20 per cent) have taken sick leave three or more times in the past year solely due to inadequate sleep. The research also found that having children under the age of 18 had an effect on sleep quality with 72 per cent saying their sleep suffered since having children. Mr Stephenson said that while bedtime could become "dreaded" and "a very stressful" part of the day, it could be improved by "patience and consistency." "Children often respond well to a regular bedtime routine with a very similar sleep and wake time even at weekends." In an effort to improve their sleep, nearly half the respondents tried to create a regular sleep schedule or avoid caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine before bedtime. IN OTHER NEWS: Mr Stephenson said the results showed "the increasing amount of importance that people are beginning to place on sleep as a pillar of their health and wellbeing". "It is great to see an increasing number of people taking steps to proactively manage their sleep health and this needs to be encouraged," he said.