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Will you be naughty or nice this Christmas?

Will you be naughty or nice this Christmas?

Couples turn to sex to cope with stress

The findings of a new survey have revealed the majority of Australian couples may turn to sex to help them de-stress – something that’s particularly relevant given Christmas is one of the most nerve-wracking times of year.

According to the national Bupa Stress Survey 2011; 77% of Aussies believe sex is a great way to help manage stress. And unsurprisingly, men are the greatest advocates (81%), compared to women (73%).

However, men aged 45 years and above (88%) and women aged 35 years or below (76%) are the biggest advocates of the stress busting benefits of sex.

Bupa’s Head of Clinical Advisory, Stan Goldstein, said: “Everyone knows Christmas can be a stressful time of year; there are many heightened expectations from family, as well as time and financial pressures.

“It’s important to find appropriate strategies or outlets to help manage stress, rather than letting it build up and potentially overwhelm you.

“It’s not just a matter of taking your mind off things. Hormones called endorphins, released in your nervous system by all sorts of physical exertion, can have an impact on feeling stressed. There may also be a calming effect of physical intimacy.

“While the survey points to many people finding that they can help manage their tension in the bedroom, let's not forget there are also many other effective ways to alleviate stress outside of the bedroom.”

Interestingly, the survey also revealed that a failure to appropriately manage stress can lead to quite destructive behaviour and place significant strain on relationships.

Nearly 75% of respondents reported an increase in arguments as a key side-effect of stress, while 64% said they were unkind to their partner when they got home from work.

While men and women equally admit to taking stress out on their partners, women (75%) are more likely to believe stress has negatively affected their relationship compared with men (69%).

Goldstein suggested that couples also consider the following tips to help deal with unwanted Christmas stress:

  • Be as open and honest as possible with each other: Talking about your emotions is one of the best ways to help manage stress levels.
  • Get enough good quality sleep - Lack of sleep affects our mood. Bupa Healthwatch** research found that sleep-deprived people reported feeling more stressed, sad, angry, mentally exhausted and less optimistic about their lives as a whole, so make sure you catch up on your sleep.
  • Create some ‘me’ time – It’s important to have one self-indulgent activity to help you relieve stress and tension. Try relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or perform rhythmic exercise, such as running, swimming, or mindful walking to help lift your spirits.
  • Have fun –Try to involve the whole family in games and activities – even try old time favourites such as Charades or Pictionary.
  • Don’t expect miracles - Whilst it helps to be organised, remember nothing is ever perfect, if there is family tension, burnt turkey or unwanted gifts, try to see that it’s all just part of the fun.
  • Work together –Talk troubles over with your partner or close friends, rather than keeping them to yourself. Considering how many Aussies are affected by stress at Christmas, you won’t be the only one feeling that way.

Bupa, a leading healthcare organisation in Australia, is committed to improving Australians’ health and wellbeing, including their mental health, so if you’re feeling stressed, visit for more stress-relieving tips and advice.

To find the best Bupa insurance option that suits your needs, your can either compare health insurance or get a health insurance quote online.

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For all media inquiries, please contact:

Alice Bruce
Porter Novelli on behalf of Bupa
02 8987 2100
Matt Allison
Media and Corporate Communications Manager
Mobile: +61 (407 440 212)


About Bupa As a leading healthcare business in Australia, Bupa’s purpose is to help Australians live longer, healthier, happier lives. 

Bupa proudly provides health insurance to more than three million Australians (previously under the well known health insurance brands MBF, HBA, and Mutual Community), as well as complementary healthcare services through Bupa Health Dialog, Peak Health Management and Blink Optical. Bupa Care Services is an aged care provider with 47 facilities around Australia.

 Bupa focuses on providing sustainable healthcare solutions that represent real value, and on leading the industry in the promotion of preventive health and wellness – helping customers better manage their health for the long-term. Bupa’s Australian businesses are part of the international Bupa Group, which cares for more than 30 million people in over 190 countries.