Many people are spending the late-night hours pursuing nocturnal pleasures other than sleeping, a new survey reveals.

The survey by Adam & Eve, an online erotica distributor, shows the majority of sexually active adults forgo some sleep in order to engage in sexual activity. The results of this study were based on a random-digit telephone survey of 1,000 adults living in the United States.

Thirty-eight percent of the people surveyed said they have sex between the hours of 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.

“Sleep is a premium for many adults … but losing an hour or two is often a worthwhile tradeoff for the many benefits of a regular, healthy sex life,” Katy Zvolerin of Adam & Eve said.

The study said women feel more aroused than men during late-night hours, with 41 percent preferring sex between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., as opposed to 35 percent of men. The survey shows the second-best time for sex is the evening hours of 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. A small percentage of people choose to have sex during the day.

“The hectic pace of daily life often interferes with intimate inclinations during the daytime hours,” sex therapist Peter S. Kanaris said. “Making time to connect at night can be both practical and a nocturnal haven from the stress of the day.”

UW-Madison sociology professor John DeLamater said having an active sex life is important for both physical and mental health. Sex exercises the cardiovascular system and can lead to higher levels of life satisfaction and lower levels of distress. However, he doubts women are more aroused from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

“There is no evidence to support this theory, ” DeLamater said. “Sex actually may not be as enjoyable at night because both people are tired. It may not last as long, and women may not reach orgasm.”

DeLamater said he believes most people engage in sexual activity at this time because it fits in with their personal life schedules. These hours are more convenient because the work is done and children have gone to bed, he said.