- Is Sex Helping or Hurting Your Sleep?
- An under-the-covers look at whether getting turned on turns off your ability to fall asleep
- Why Some People Feel Tired After Sex
- 8 Reasons Why The Sex Is Exhausting You
- 1. Sex Is Energy
- 2. Alcohol Affects Your Libido
- 3. The Later The Night, The More Exhausting Sex Is
- 4. Anaemia Can Affect Your Libido, Too
- 5. Stress And Fatigue Are Draining You
- 6. The Amount You Shag Affects Your Stamina
- 7. You’re Not Getting Enough Breaks Between Your Sessions
- 8. You’re Just Too Good In Bed To Not Be Exhausted
- Begin touch outside of the bedroom
- Get creative
- Accentuate the positive
- Begin foreplay (a lot) earlier
- Get moving
- Work together
- Change up timing
- Why do you fall asleep after having sex?
- Long-term strategies
- In the short term
- Too tired for sex?
- Stop burning the candle at both ends
- “ME” time
- Stop saying YES
- Go to bed at a decent hour
- Children need to sleep in their own beds
- Share the chores
- You can have sex any time of day or night
- Hope is holding us back
- Sex that suits where your relationship is at
- Plan for spontaneous sex
- What does physical connection look like?
- Why men say no to sex
- Are you too busy for sex?
- Here’s why you feel so tired after having sex
- All the Sleepy Ladies: Why Women Get More Tired Than Men
- What’s the Deal?
- Is It Legit?
- Feelings of attachment can be increased post-sex.
- There may be some semen that leaks post-sex.
- Your face may look flushed.
- Cramps can be caused by an orgasm.
- You can suddenly be very sleepy.
- It can feel a little itchy down there.
- Something smells kind of funky.
- Your vagina looks bigger.
- You might be sore.
- You might have spotting.
- Related posts:
Is Sex Helping or Hurting Your Sleep?
An under-the-covers look at whether getting turned on turns off your ability to fall asleep
There are two things that your bedroom is designed for: having sex and sleeping. But that begs the question: How can having sex (an act that is, at its core, meant to be arousing) get you ready for serious shut-eye? It turns out that the two actions go hand in hand. More sex helps you sleep, and more sleep boosts your sex drive.
Yes, sex can actually make it easier to fall asleep. This is mostly because of the hormones that are released during the act. Sex boosts oxytocin (a hormone that makes you feel connected to your partner) and lowers cortisol (a stress-related hormone). Plus, having an orgasm releases a hormone called prolactin, which makes you feel relaxed and sleepy. All of that leads up to a nice, drowsy state that’s perfect for cuddling up and falling asleep.
There’s an added bonus for women, which is that sex boosts estrogen levels, enhancing your REM stage and giving you deeper slumber. Don’t feel left out, men. You sleep deeply after intercourse, too. In fact, there’s even a French term for how quickly men fall asleep after orgasm: le petit mort.
On the flip side, your sleep habits could be helping or hurting your sex life. If you or your partner aren’t sleeping well, whether due to stress, one person keeping the other up with tossing and turning, or a condition like sleep apnea, your sex drive is going to go way down.
If a lack of sleep is hurting your sex life, the answer might lie in having more sex! That’s because sexual satisfaction is a great stress reliever, as well as a way to feel more intimate with your partner—and when you feel less frazzled and happier in your relationship, those feelings will contribute to better sleep (and the cycle goes on and on!). Instead of lying in bed, worrying about why you can’t fall asleep, turn to your partner and initiate sex.
Why Some People Feel Tired After Sex
If you’ve ever had fantastic sex, the type of sex riddled in orgasms, there’s a chance that afterward you might feel tired. Or, maybe you had one hell of an orgasm, and feel ready to go for another round — or three or four — instead. Honestly, it could go one way or the other. While there are those who feel totally wiped out after sex and ready for a nap, there are also those who feel like they’re able to take on the world after sex.
“Not everyone feels tired after sex; some people do and others don’t,” Dr. Dawn Michael, certified clinical sexologist, sexuality counselor, and author of My Husband Won’t Have Sex With Me, tells Bustle. “There are hormones that are released after an orgasm such as oxytocin and dopamine. Women tend to release more dopamine than men do and this can actually wake you rather then make you feel sleepy.”
But for those who do feel like they need to go to sleep right after sex, there are a few reasons as to what this might be there case, from your brain pretty much shutting off after an orgasm to oxytocin’s calming affect on your body.
1. Your Brain May Shut Off
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
“Many people fall asleep after sex and French researchers believe they have uncovered the reason behind this phenomenon,” Dr. Jess O’Reilly, sexologist and host of the Sex With Dr Jess Podcast, tells Bustle. “The cerebral cortex shuts off during orgasm and the cingulate cortex and the amygdala send messages to other parts of the brain signaling the need to squash all sexual desire.”
This is also why the French call orgasms “la petite mort,” which literally translates to “the little death.” If the brain shuts off, then nips all sexual desire in the bud, it makes sense that the need to sleep would follow.
2. Sleep-Inducing Chemicals Kick Into High Gear
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
Dr. O’Reilly says there’s also a release of sleep-inducing chemicals after sex.
In fact, serotonin (which maintains normal sleep cycles), norepinephrine (which aids REM sleep), and vasopressin (which boosts sleep quality) are all released after orgasm, so it certainly makes sense why some may need to hit the hay ASAP.
3. Oxytocin Takes Over
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
In addition to the flood of those sleep chemicals, oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone,” which is released after orgasm, contributes to a relaxed, feel-good state.
“Oxytocin can make you feel calm and that can have a sleepy effect,” says Dr. Michael.
4. The Time Of Day Plays A Role
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
“There are a few other factors,” says Dr. Michael. “If you have sex in the morning you are less likely to fall asleep so the time of day has an impact on it as well.”
If you’ve had a long day and have sex before bed, then you’re definitely more likely to feel tired after sex than if you start the day off with morning sex. In fact, morning sex can really get you revved up and ready to tackle the world in a whole new way.
5. Hormones Just Affect People Differently
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
Ultimately, as Dr. Michael points out, sex may not make everyone tired. Basically, it depends on your hormones as to whether or not you feel sleepy after sex and just how sleepy you might feel.
But if you do feel tired after sex, now you know why. If you don’t feel tired after sex and feel like you could probably run a marathon if you had to (I am one of those people) now you know why, too.
8 Reasons Why The Sex Is Exhausting You
The weekend has been amazing! You met this girl and right from the moment the two of you said ‘Hi’, you knew you were going to going to hit it off very well, if you know what we mean. And so, your lunch date turned into dinner and a long drive back to your place where you were at it till the wee hours of the morning; only to wake up and be at it, all over again! More power to you, dude!
But, now you’re just sitting behind your desk ridden by exhaustion and you don’t think you’re going to have sex again.
Why so hard on yourself? There is a direct correlation between sex and fatigue and, honestly while it does happen more often to men than women, it is something that affects both parties and, irrespective of who you might be, you should be able to observe the signs and know the reasons.
Here are some things that could be making you tired post sex.
1. Sex Is Energy
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Sex is a very physical act; in fact, it is also a form of exercise and so, it is bound to take away from your total amount of energy. Yes, it can also be taxing on your brain because a lot of the build up for sex starts in your head—the attraction, the sense of intimacy, the sexual build up and the awareness. Even when you’re about to ejaculate and orgasm, it is as telling on your brain as it is on your body post the act. Simply being healthy and fit has nothing to do with finding yourself lacking energy post sex and feeling overcome by exhaustion. Being absorbed in the act of lovemaking is consuming—your entire body and mind is subconsciously working to make you and your partner feel good. You will never feel the loss of energy during the act; but it dawns on you soon after, when you’re left feeling breathless and lifeless and not wanting to move a muscle.
2. Alcohol Affects Your Libido
Try never to mix the two. If you’ve spent the night, or the past few days intoxicated, even to a certain extent, it is bound to tell on your sexual drive. The difference between the way alcohol affects your sex life is the amount of alcohol you consume—as long as it’s a small amount, you’re good; but, the minute the amount goes from small to moderate, you’re screwed. So, if you’re wondering why you’re feeling doubly weary the morning after, know that it’s not just the amount of sex you had, but, it’s probably more to do with the amount of alcohol you consumed before the sex.
3. The Later The Night, The More Exhausting Sex Is
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Yeah, I bet you didn’t know about this one. While it’s true that good sex at night, before bed, is key to a good night’s rest, it is also true that if the good sex happens too late at night—post 12 or 01am—you’re bound to wake up feeling lethargic. Interestingly, early morning sex doesn’t tire you all that much, since you’ve gotten a few good hours of sleep before it. The human body and brain needs a minimum 8 hours of sound sleep to wake up relaxed and refreshed the next morning. And late night sex can leave you feeling drained and give you a less than good quality of sleep. The result is, you’re bound to be feeling tired, spent and unable to go through the rest of your day’s activities. In fact, this could worsen if you’ve coupled it with endless amounts of alcohol. Best of luck, Bud! Here’s a moment of silence for you.
4. Anaemia Can Affect Your Libido, Too
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Iron deficiency in men is a pretty rare condition and is more commonly prevalent in women (it’s one of the things you need to look into if your girl has been getting too tired and lethargic right after sex for more than once or twice). But, nevertheless, it could happen to you, too. If you’ve experienced blood loss for some reason or the other, your iron levels are automatically at a low and this is, indirectly, or directly affecting your sexual appetite, making you exhausted after the deed. You can take iron pills, or supplements to keep your iron intake stable and consume foods that are rich in iron so that you can enhance your general energy as well as your libido.
5. Stress And Fatigue Are Draining You
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This may not be the most prevalent thought while you’re having sex. But, this means that, off late, your thoughts have been consumed in stress which is leaving you physically and, worse, psychologically drained! This in turn is affecting your sex life because whether or not it isn’t what you’re thinking while doing the deed, stress is leaving you quite washed out and is, therefore, going to affect your sexual appetite. Maybe you need to look into what’s bothering you and tackle the issue. Also, start listening to calming music, find some recreational activity to escape your busy schedule, or just go for a routine jog once or twice in a day to relieve yourself of the stress.
6. The Amount You Shag Affects Your Stamina
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Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much, or too little masturbation. And the most important point is that doing either of the extremes—too much, or too little—can also affect your levels of exhaustion post sex. Now, while there isn’t a fixed number to your masturbatory practices in a day, the average guy can masturbate for up to 5 times without affecting their libido, evidently. But, it also has to do with the frequency and lifestyle you live. If you’re a couch potato who takes it slower than a sloth, you’ve got to pull up your socks in terms of speed, technique and frequency. Similarly, if you are a workaholic who is constantly going through a heady rush of adrenaline, steroids and what-not and you masturbate like the world depends on it, hold your horses. Slow down. At either rate, you’re going to conk out post sex more often than you’d like to admit.
7. You’re Not Getting Enough Breaks Between Your Sessions
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Sure, she’s irresistible and gets you up in no time. Sex can be quite addictive and with the right person, it’s the perfect heady mixture that can leave you dizzy and reeling for more. But, you need to give your body the time to relax and cope and be ready for the next session of sex before you call it a marathon. Also, you need to keep hydrating yourself because sex can drain bodily fluids—not just when you ejaculate but also when you sweat while doing it. The amount of physical energy that goes into having sex, quite subconsciously needs to be replenished regularly. So, if it’s going to be you, your partner and a day’s worth of sex, stay hydrated and give each other the much needed breaks.
8. You’re Just Too Good In Bed To Not Be Exhausted
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And then, there’s always this possibility to be considered: You rock her world; she rocks yours and together, you’re rocking the bed, the table, the walls and the entire household. That’s got to explain your levels of exhaustion when all you want to do is lay like a vegetable and bask in the glory of your awesomeness as you laze around the place, going over the entire events of last night or early this morning. Phew!
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Dessidre Fleming Updated: Mar 14, 2016, 18:56 IST
This answer is provided by Melinda Wenner of Scienceline, a project of New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program.
For many women, the correlation between sex and snoring is one of those annoying facts of life: no matter when passionate encounters occur, men always seem to fall asleep immediately afterwards. Dave Zinczenko, the author of “Men, Love and Sex: The Complete User Guide For Women,” explained the phenomenon to Huffington Post writer Arianna Huffington this way: “Men go to sleep because women don’t turn into a pizza.”
I doubt I am ever going to become a pizza, and I’ll never have the foresight to order one beforehand. So in lieu of a cure, a better explanation will have to do. Although women sometimes feel sleepy after sex, the phenomenon does seem more pronounced in men. What is it, then, that spirals them into the land of nod?
First, the obvious reasons for sex’s somnolent sway: the act frequently takes place at night, in a bed, and is, after all, physically exhausting (often more so for the man than the woman, although this certainly varies). So when sex is over, it’s natural for a guy to feel sleepy.
Secondly, research using positron emission tomography (PET) scans has shown that in order for a person to reach orgasm, a primary requirement is to let go of “all fear and anxiety.” Doing so also tends to be relaxing and might explain the tendency to snooze.
Then there is the biochemistry of the orgasm itself. Research shows that during ejaculation, men release a cocktail of brain chemicals, including norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, nitric oxide (NO), and the hormone prolactin. The release of prolactin is linked to the feeling of sexual satisfaction, and it also mediates the “recovery time” that men are well aware of—the time a guy must wait before “giving it another go.” Studies have also shown that men deficient in prolactin have faster recovery times.
Prolactin levels are naturally higher during sleep, and animals injected with the chemical become tired immediately. This suggests a strong link between prolactin and sleep, so it’s likely that the hormone’s release during orgasm causes men to feel sleepy.
(Side note: prolactin also explains why men are sleepier after intercourse than after masturbation. For unknown reasons, intercourse orgasms release four times more prolactin than masturbatory orgasms, according to a recent study.)
Oxytocin and vasopressin, two other chemicals released during orgasm, are also associated with sleep. Their release frequently accompanies that of melatonin, the primary hormone that regulates our body clocks. Oxytocin is also thought to reduce stress levels, which again could lead to relaxation and sleepiness.
What about the evolutionary reasons for post-sex sleepiness? This is trickier to explain. Evolutionarily speaking, a man’s primary goal is to produce as many offspring as possible, and sleeping doesn’t exactly help in his quest. But perhaps since he cannot immediately run off with another woman anyway — damn that recovery time! — re-energizing himself via sleep may be the best use of his time.
And although there is conflicting information as to whether women feel sleepy after sex, a woman often falls asleep with the man anyway (or uses it for some key cuddling time), which is good news for him: it means she is not off finding another mate. When the man wakes up and she’s still there, he just might be ready to go again.
It’s also possible that sleepiness is just a “side effect” associated with a more evolutionarily important reason for the release of oxytocin and vasopressin. In addition to being associated with sleep, both chemicals are also intimately involved in what is called “pair bonding,” the social attachment human mates commonly share. The release of these brain chemicals during orgasm heightens feelings of bonding and trust between sexual partners, which may partially explain the link between sex and emotional attachment. This bond is favorable should the couple have a baby, as cooperative child rearing maximizes the young one’s chances for survival.
The bottom line is this: There are many potential biochemical and evolutionary reasons for post-sex sleepiness, some direct and some indirect — but no one has yet pinpointed the exact causes. One thing, however, is certain: we females better get used to it, because it doesn’t look likely to change anytime soon.
I will leave frustrated American women with one final thought: if you are upset at the ubiquity of the post-sex snoring phenomenon, remember that things could be a lot worse. A recent survey of 10,000 English men revealed that 48 percent actually fall asleep during sex.
Talk about coitus interruptus!
This answer is provided by Scienceline, a project of New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program.
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Research shows that couples who talk about sex together tend to have better sex. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. It can also be helpful to know if the things you’re doing in the bedroom are effective. Communicating with your partner about sex can help you both to more effectively state your needs and let each other know when you are (or aren’t) feeling ready for intimacy. Who knows, it might just improve your overall relationship as a couple.
Begin touch outside of the bedroom
Are you waiting until you hit the sheets to get your hands on each other? If so, you’re doing it wrong. Great sex begins with the small touches. Holding hands, kissing, or hugging throughout the day will put you both in the mood for when you get the chance to be intimate. So don’t wait to get a little handsy. It’ll strengthen your relationship and create an atmosphere of trust and love.
Still using the same moves you used in the early days of your relationship? It’s time to get creative. All of us (but especially women) get turned on by different things at different times, depending on our mood. So don’t use the old “fall back” when it comes to sex. The nice thing about intimacy is that there are numerous ways to spice things up. Massage, dirty talk, toys, and new locations or positions can help. Whatever you do, aim to keep things fresh.
Accentuate the positive
Intimacy is not all roses, but talking about it like it is may improve your sexual satisfaction. A 2016 study found that couples who could joke about embarrassing sexual moments and emphasized praise during sex had higher sexual satisfaction. Keeping things positive in (and out) of the bedroom will help you both stay satisfied with your sex life.
Begin foreplay (a lot) earlier
Mental foreplay is the most effective type of foreplay. Talk and flirt regularly throughout the day, even if it’s just a short text or email. Being attentive and complimenting your spouse often sets the mood long before you reach the bedroom.
It’s a well-known fact that exercise produces endorphins that lift your mood. In addition to having many other health benefits, exercise might also increase your sex drive. When you exercise, the circulation in your body improves (including the blood flow to your genitals). With increased circulation your mood and sexual desire will improve. Lace up and hit the gym together for even more benefits before you get moving in the bedroom.
Sharing household chores can lead to more satisfying and more frequent sex. Research shows that creating fairness in the division of labor at home may spice things up in the bedroom. Let him cook a little more. Split up laundry and work together on household chores whenever possible.
Change up timing
If you can’t seem to get your partner interested in intimacy in the evenings, you might be trying the wrong time of day. Instead of your normal routine in the evenings, try adding sex into your morning or afternoon schedule. With men’s testosterone levels peaking in the morning and women’s ovulation hormones happening in the afternoons, you’ll be better served to have sex during those times when one (or both) of you is ready instead of in the evenings when both of you are exhausted.
Improving sex and intimacy in your relationship doesn’t have to be difficult. With a few small tweaks you can enhance your relationship together instead of falling asleep watching TV before you drift off to sleep.
Why do you fall asleep after having sex?
Is it normal for a partner to fall asleep just after having sex, and does the fatigue sometimes lasts for more than 24 hours? What can I do to make him more resistant?
Many women still seek the answers to these questions. Is it abnormal to fall asleep after intercourse? Not at all. The tiredness that appears after intercourse is a natural reaction of the human body to the effort it has made.
But most times, if a man does not cuddle up with his woman after he has had sex, and if he does not talk and if he simply lays on his back and goes to sleep, it is natural for a woman to jump to conclusions, thinking her partner is simply not satisfied.
Their beliefs are wrong. Here are some real reasons men fall asleep after intercourse:
Fact #1 Sex during the night, especially when the human body is already tired, becomes the first argument for the state of sleepiness that occurs after having sex. The actual intercourse does not even have to be very ‘solicitating’. You should keep in mind that sex, by its nature, is very relaxing.
Fact #2 Men ejaculate during orgasm, and the hormones that are set free induce the state of lethargy. The sleep sensation manifests more intensely than on a regular basis. Even if the tension of the body is a positive one, it is also a very big, almost exhausting one.
Fact #3 Plenty of people tend to hold their breath from time to time while they are having sex. Its rhythm becomes abrupt and the pulse intensifies. Therefore, there is a lack of oxygen, which contributes to the need to rest – nothing serious, everything comes back to normality in the postlude.
Fact #4 The state of sleep should be interpreted in a positive way, because it proves the fact that you have reached an orgasm and that everything has gone alright. In rare cases, men who are exhausted during and after intercourse, on a longer period of time may suffer from medical problems. In this case, leave your inhibitions and self-pride aside and have a complete check-up.
Quick tip # 1 If you are looking for a quick solution, drink coffee before going to bed with your partner. We cannot say that it is a long-term solution, but it is also an effective erotic stimulus. Caffeine can be your main ally in the fight against tiredness; but it can also harm as it can affect the nervous system, making one over excited and under revved.
Quick tip # 2 Really refreshing is a citrus, especially a grapefruit, very cold, right from the fridge. At the opposite pole we find alcohol. Do not use it in large quantities; its effect is exactly the opposite.
On the other hand, women’s bodies react different; for them the sensations during an orgasm are a stimulus. They could be more willing to go for a second ‘round’. But still, what can women do to make men more resistant? Don’t worry, as men being men, ‘refill’ themselves!
“I’m too tired” is the most common reason we turn down sex. (“I have a headache” is a close second.) My clients often tell me that they’re frustrated by how much their exhaustion gets in the way of their sex life. If you’re tired of being too tired for sex, here are long- and short-term strategies for bringing more energy into the bedroom.
Being too tired for sex can actually be an invitation to take a deeper look at your relationship with sleep. If you’re exhausted all the time, that’s a pretty good sign that something needs to change. There’s just no getting around the fact that sleep is an essential part of our lives. Are you giving your body the rest it needs to be healthy? Or are you prioritizing other things over your sleep? This is obviously an enormous topic, and it brings up complex issues like socioeconomic status, privilege, and workaholism, but these are still questions worth asking yourself. If you frequently find yourself turning down sex because of exhaustion, here are some other long-term strategies that may help.
Develop better sleep hygiene
You can take maximum advantage of the sleep opportunities that you do have by practicing good sleep hygiene. I’m talking things like:
- Limiting screen time before bed
- Going to bed at the same time every night
- Only using your bed for sex and sleep
- Doing some light stretching or journaling before bed
- Keeping cell phones out of the bedroom
- Keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet
- Using a weighted blanket
These are all things you probably already know, but may not be doing. I highly recommend working on your sleep hygiene. These tips aren’t that hard, and they can make a surprisingly big difference.
If you know that you have a sex date on Wednesday, you can put a little extra effort into getting a good night’s sleep the night before. Then clear out your commitments and prioritize getting home from work early the day of. Check out this article that I wrote about how to schedule sex and still enjoy it.
Think about sex during the day
Another way to keep your energy up is to think about sex during the day, especially if you’re planning on having it later that evening. A lot of my clients complain that trying to muster up the energy to get turned on in the moment feels too overwhelming. But if you try to think about sex throughout the day and keep yourself at a low level of arousal, you may find it much easier to get excited about being with your partner later. Try daydreaming about your favorite sexual experiences with your partner, or reading a few pages of an erotic novel at lunchtime. You can also text with your partner during the day about the things you’d like to do together that evening.
Have sex as early as possible
This is one of the most practical suggestions I give to my clients. So many of us wait until the very end of the evening to even think about having sex. But by the time your head is hitting the pillow, it’s just too late. At that point, sex feels like a sleep thief. Instead, try to have sex as early in the day or evening as possible. You’re of course going to run into challenges depending on your schedules, responsibilities, or kids, but the second the two of you are alone together, go for it. Or try for morning sex!
In the short term
OK, so let’s say that you’ve neglected the advice above. It’s 11:47 at night, and your partner scoots over to your side of the bed. You’re exhausted, but beneath the exhaustion, you actually do want to be intimate with your partner. You just wish you weren’t so damn tired. Here are some additional steps you can take.
Remind yourself of the benefits of sex
Many of my clients tell me that sex doesn’t usually feel super tempting in the moment, especially if they’re tired. But after they have sex, they think, “Wow, that was actually really fun. Why don’t I do that more often?” If you find yourself struggling to get motivated to have sex with your partner, remind yourself how you usually feel during and after intimacy. Think about the pleasure that you feel during sex, how connected you feel to your partner when you’re looking them in the eyes, the goofy pillow talk you usually have after sex, or even how deeply you usually sleep after sex. That can give you a little extra motivation to get going in the moment.
Move your body
If you were already in bed when your partner gave you “the look,” try getting out of bed. Shake off the sleepiness. Do a little stretching or some tidying up. Push your partner up against the wall and make out with them standing up. Sometimes getting out of bed and getting your body moving can give you a jolt of energy.
Touch your partner
You can also try having some form of physical contact with your partner. This can help get your energy up as well. If you were already in bed, try getting up and making out on the sofa or undressing each other. (Just don’t do things that usually make you sleepy, like cuddling in bed or having your partner massage you while you lie face down on the bed.) Plus, a lot of people have responsive sex drives, meaning that they need to feel physical stimulation in order to start feeling mental desire. If you get some form of physical contact going, you very well may find the energy to do more!
“I’m just too tired.”
It’s the most common phrase I hear from couples regarding sex.
Most people understand the importance of a healthy sexual relationship within a marriage. It isn’t everything, but it is something and it’s a very important something. On occasion one spouse will exaggerate its importance, believing it is the primary aspect of marriage. More often one spouse will grossly downplay the importance of sex, believing it is a sign of a man’s weakness. But most people understand sex is important. (See: Three Types of Sex Every Married Couple Should Have)
Knowing sex is important to marriage and making it important in marriage are two separate acts.
With all the demands of life, it is very easy for sex to be pushed to the bottom of the list. There is always “later” or “tomorrow” when it comes to making time for intimacy for a couple.
Early in a marriage this rarely causes a problem. With fewer demands for newlyweds, pushing sex to the end of the day isn’t an issue. Most young couples go to bed much earlier than they did in college or while dating, so a late night appointment is acceptable and satisfying.
Yet as demands increase, late-night sex can become an issue.
One of the biggest mistakes couples make is getting into a rut of only having sex at night. A habit which can begin in young adulthood without any consequences can become taxing as a marriage matures.
If the only time a couple has sex is at night, one’s sexual health will suffer in the seasons of raising children and advancing careers. (See: The 24-Hour Sex Rule)
Nothing can prepare a couple for how exhausting raising children can be. I often laugh as I visit new parents in the delivery wing of a hospital. Oftentimes the new father will say to me, “If we can just get through these next few weeks of no sleep, we will be good.” I always want to say, “Six weeks?” No doubt the newborn stage has unique sleep challenges, but sleep is never the same after a baby is born. With each child added, the more complex life becomes, and parents spend most of their lives in desperate need of a nap.
For many people, as the children begin to grow, so does their careers. Whether in the corporate world, in small business, or for a homemaker, the expectations and demands increase. The weariness can sometimes be overwhelming.
This exhaustion kills one’s sex drive, and oftentimes their sex life, unless serious attention and intention is at play.
If the only time a couple has sex is at the end of the day, they likely will not be having much sex.
Here is an simple solution to the problem of weariness when it comes to sex:
A couple should take every opportunity to have as much sex as possible at a time other than the end of the day.
It takes effort, planning, and often a change of mindset, but if they will find times of intimacy other than at night, their relationship has a much better chance to flourish. (See: Are You Having Enough Sex?)
This doesn’t exclude sex at night. Nighttime sex might continue to be the mainstay of the sexual diet, but if a couple can add in intimacy at other times, it will greatly enhance their experience.
The problem with only having sex at night is you continually give yourself to your spouse when you have the least amount of energy. I would never accept this of a teammate, co-worker, or friend. I would want more. As a spouse, I want more. While we partner together through life, I’m fully aware there are seasons of life in which my only interaction (communication, quality time, and/or sex) with my wife will be at the end of the day when we are both exhausted. That’s part of life. But if that’s the only time we interact, something will be missing.
By creating other times in which we can be together, we are making sure our spouses also see us at our most energized. Why should your work place get you when you are most awake, but not your spouse?
Couples have a variety of options regarding the question of “when.”
- Before kids wake up
- At lunch
- During naptime
- After work
- A mid-morning meeting
It might take some creativity. For some it will require a drastic change of mindset. And it might involve some risk—what if the kids wake up? But any energy spent in trying to find other times to have intimacy will be well worth it.
Not only will you have more energy to have sex, but it will also tell your spouse that they are not the last thing on your daily list. It will also add variety and change to the sexual experience. (See: What I Tell College Students About Married Sex)
Are you too tired for sex? Then don’t have sex tonight. Go to sleep, but plan on having lunch at home tomorrow and picking up something to eat on the way back to work.
For more, see:
One Tip to Improve Married Sex
Spicing Up Married Sex by Learning from the Adulterer
Gentlemen, Start Your Engines
Too tired for sex?
A National Sleep Foundation survey (2010) found that nearly 25 percent of respondents who live with a partner report often being too tired to have sex with that person. Once you have fallen into a rut of having no sex, it can be hard to get back into the routine of having regular sex. Tiredness, rather than a lack of attraction is a legitimate excuse for sex avoidance.
Here are a few ideas to help you to break the cycle of tiredness and start enjoying having sex more frequently. Sex offers so many health giving benefits, such as improving your mood, helping you to have a deeper sleep, lower your blood pressure, and reduce stress.
Stop burning the candle at both ends
Many people lead busy lives that sometimes feel overwhelming. We need more than 24 hours in a day to fit in all we have to do or think we have to do.This constant pressure to get stuff done can take its toll on our health and mental wellbeing.
Instead of continuing in this manic way, stop to recharge your batteries as we all go flat time to time.
Take time to meet with friends over a leisurely coffee rather than snatching 5 minutes, be selfish and lock yourself in the bathroom for a long soak in the bath while your partner does the bedtime routine for your children or cooks the evening meal. Take a walk in the day to invigorate yourself and allow time to process thoughts in your head.Enjoy an all over body massage.
When you have free time in the day, don’t fill it with more stuff, take time for yourself.
Stop saying YES
I don’t mean to sex, but to all the things you agree to do from work commitments to the requests from school, your children’s’ hectic social lives filled with hobbies and play dates and family demands.
Go to bed at a decent hour
Having spent your childhood resisting going to bed, as an adult we often delay our bedtime to get everything done or spend our evenings slumped in front of the TV or computer rather than getting comfy in bed. If you need to get up at 6am, then you need to go to bed by 10pm to ensure that you get to sleep.
A good night’s sleep, more so than exercise and a healthy diet, keeps our sexual engines humming, says Washington, D.C. sex therapist Barry McCarthy, PhD. “Healthy people who have good sleep patterns are going to be more open to being sexual” .
If you want any chance of having sex, you need to go to bed earlier to avoid feeling under pressure to have sex when all you want to do is sleep.
Having sex before bedtime can help you sleep better too.
Children need to sleep in their own beds
As a parent of three children, thankfully all in their teens, I know how annoying it can be to have a child in bed with you. As a new mum, I developed a 6th sense when they were younger when they made a noise or needed my attention at night and would jump out of bed at the slightest noise, disturbing my partner in the process.
We’ve all heard the stories and witnessed the parents who don’t set bedtime routines, whose children slept with them or Dad being pushed out to sleep in the child’s bed, but children need to get themselves to sleep. I’ve lost track of how many hours we spent doing controlled crying and putting a child back into their own bed, but it worked because our children never shared our bed unless they were ill.
Some parents, especially mothers, use the child as an excuse for not sharing their bed with their partner to avoid sex which is sad but there may be underlying reasons as to why they are doing this, such as low libido due to hormonal imbalance, bodily changes which make sex feel uncomfortable such as vaginal dryness, tightness or scarring after childbirth or even body image issues.
Often people use the excuse of having too much to do for feeling too tired for sex. If you feel like you are the only one doing anything around the house, enlist the help of your partner or children to share the workload. Get children to unload the dishwasher or do the washing up. Teenagers can be taught how to iron and put their clothes away, so stop running around after them. Get your family to tidy up after themselves or just gather their stuff up and put it in their room.
Sharing the work will make you feel less resentful and tired at the end of the day and more willing to go to bed and enjoy sex rather than collapse in a heap under the duvet.
You can have sex any time of day or night
Night time may simply not be the right time for sex for some people.
Often, when we fall into bed after a tiring day, sex is the last thing on your mind so try changing your routine to accommodate meaningful sex and sleep. Some side effects of medication taken before bedtime can make you feel sleepy too.
If you are an early riser, take advantage of this and have early morning sex- a way great to starting your day or set the alarm for 20 minutes earlier, just before your children wake up.
Take advantage of children being at school, at parties or doing their hobbies and nip into bed then. Even if you don’t have sex, you can still enjoy cuddling, kissing and enjoying foreplay.
Whatever you do, don’t use feeling tired as an excuse. Often we feel exhausted as a result of the chatter coursing through our minds telling us what we need to do so stop the chatter, switch off that part of your brain telling you to do more and concentrate on slowing down.
Sex should be fun and pleasurable so even if you just implement one of the ideas above into your daily routine, you will hopefully be enjoying sex more often and once back in the swing, you probably won’t want to stop!!!
Question: Dear Tanya, I’m always too tired or busy for sex. It’s the last thing I feel like doing when I get the tap on the shoulder from my partner. How can I make it more of a priority?
Answer: What a question this one is! I think it is part of many of the presenting situations that clients come to me with.
The beauty here is that that answer is wrapped up in the question — it’s about prioritising.
Hope is holding us back
Many of us maintain the hope that sex will be spontaneous and easy to get to. Even when we know the honeymoon period and its handy hormones that help us along is finished — we continue to hope.
When we hold the belief that “sex should be easy to get to”, it can hold us back. It’s kind of like wanting things to be hot and sizzling without putting any effort in.
We live in a world where busyness is worn as a badge of achievement. People are cramming so much into their days. Parenting has become a verb. Workplaces are demanding longer and longer hours.
We are expected to play as hard as we work.
It’s not sustainable. I am seeing the cracks and strains in relationships.
So many people prioritise work or parenting over their intimate relationship. When I am working with couples, I ask them to place their relationship on top of the priority list. That is number one.
Occasionally a work or family drama may knock it down a level or two, but not every week.
Prioritising your relationship doesn’t mean you will spend eight hours a day staring into each other’s eyes. It means you are going to do little things to invest in your relationship.
Imagine it as the small things you do to tend to a garden — regular watering, some fertilising at times, pruning now and then and some weeding.
These things can all be done regularly and with manageable effort. Some of the things I suggest below can help maintain the intimacy in your relationship.
Remember this — doing nothing is a decision. It’s becoming much easier for tired, busy couples to opt out of sex but the toll on their relationship can be high.
Without physical connection there is a loss of ‘stretch’ in the relationship — people can get tetchy, critical and unforgiving.
You are missing out on the love hormone — oxytocin which is linked to generosity and hugs!
Some of us feel like we are too busy with work or kids to make space for quality time with partners.(Unsplash: Priscilla Du Preez)
Sex that suits where your relationship is at
Consider that sex can weave its way around what is going on in the relationship.
If you are tired, how about playing the percentage game: “Honey, I’m tired this evening. How about you do 90 per cent of the work?”
There can be a little haggling (“What about 60 per cent?”) until you reach a point that you are both happy with.
Don’t laugh, it works!
When low in energy you could suggest that one or none of you have an orgasm. Or that one of you masturbates while the other strokes and cuddles them.
There are many ways to connect sexually and intimately. Also, take the focus off performance and what is not possible. Rather, look at what is pleasurable and what is possible — it’s bound to get you to places that are fun.
Plan for spontaneous sex
People seem so reticent to plan or make space for their intimate connection time, yet if you look at their diaries, they have social, work, family and parenting things planned for months in advance.
If you don’t make the time it won’t appear miraculously.
You have heard me talk about this before — plan to be spontaneous! Make the time to connect with each other physically every week.
You determine how frequently that will be, but think about this: if you want to have sex more regularly, then you need to schedule more regular connection time.
What does physical connection look like?
It can be many things. Here are some suggestions:
Remembering to give each other a six-second kiss when you say hello and goodbye
- That’s a kiss with intention — not tonsil hockey. A clear intention to connect with your partner.
- It could be lingering, or nibbling or travelling… you decide.
- Don’t forget hugs: for no reason, just walking past each other, as part of your daily greetings, as appreciation — so many opportunities to connect.
Taking a bath together
- Either in the tub together, or:
- One person sitting on the side of the bath while the other is in the tub.
- Chatting or having a glass of wine or orange juice, etc.
- Wash your partner’s back — an intimate act.
Take a shower together
- It can be quick and fun or long and languorous.
- This week I give you a massage, next week you give me one.
- If we get to sexy times, great!
- If we don’t, we did something lovely and connective — no sulking!
Naked TV night
- Get naked and watch TV together (or do it in your best underwear if you feel a bit shy).
Play sexy games
- Strip poker.
- Kinky scrabble (you make up the rules).
- Take it in turns squirting whipped cream on a part of your body you would like to have it licked off.
Start a suggestions box
- Both write a list of things you would like to try together.
- If something on your list gets a tick from each of you, it goes into the suggestions box.
- This can be used for inspiration.
Plan a sexy get away
- Leave the kids behind and take some time together.
- This is about time together and connection first and foremost; don’t go away expecting sex.
If you’re not enjoying the sex you are having, then it may be time to have a chat — these things never fix themselves or go away.
Doing nothing, avoiding or tolerating will not help the situation.
Long-term relationships require effort, there is no two ways about it.
But think about this: if you could put more pleasure and connection into your relationship from small and consistent efforts, wouldn’t that be better than being too busy and too tired?
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Why men say no to sex
When it comes to sex, men are ready to go at any time, right? Well, not always, says 29-year-old P.J., an online producer from Toronto. “It’s rare that I don’t want to have sex, but the times I will say no are when I’m thinking about something intensely and I can’t pull myself out of it,” he explains.
Not even a surprise birthday visit from his girlfriend wearing lingerie could pique his interest one time when he was deep in thought. “I was feeling pensive and I didn’t want to be outside of myself. And with sex, you want to connect with somebody,” he says.
It may be difficult to imagine that a healthy heterosexual man would turn down a nearly naked woman. However, P.J. is far from alone in this situation, says Vancouver-based sex therapist David McKenzie. “In the last two years, I’ve noticed more clients of mine than before are men lacking sexual desire and it’s the women who are initiating sex,” he says.
If your partner is turning down your advances there’s probably a good explanation for his lack of interest-and it likely has nothing to do with how he feels about you. Here are some common reasons why men say no, and what you can do to get him back to saying, ‘Yes!’
1. He’s suffering from depression
“Clinical depression is one of the biggest killers of sex drive in men,” says McKenzie. Men of all ages, even teenagers, may experience much lower sex drive when they’re struggling with this mood disorder.
What you can do: “Remember that clinical depression is a physical illness and not a character weakness,” says McKenzie. There are plenty of online resources available to help you and your partner better understand depression and how it can affect your relationship. The key here is patience, especially during treatment-while antidepressants are very effective in treating depression, they can also contribute to low sexual interest. Your partner may want to speak to a doctor, however, if he notices that treatment is severely interfering with his sex drive.
2. His testosterone levels are low
“When a man gets to be over 40, his testosterone levels begin to decrease,” says McKenzie. “If this happens mildly over time, then a man will gradually lose his sexual prowess. But sometimes males can lose testosterone very rapidly.” This condition is sometimes referred to as andropause and comes with symptoms that include loss of energy, depressive symptoms and low sex drive.
What you can do: Low testosterone is a physical condition that can be treated by a physician. If you suspect your partner is experiencing some of the symptoms associated with andropause, suggest he ask his doctor for a testosterone test to determine if low levels are to blame for his lack of desire.
3. He’s got trouble with the plumbing
Though erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation are common problems, says McKenzie, a man who experiences these difficulties may withdraw from his partner for fear that she’ll be disappointed or think that he’s less of a man.
“It’s hard on a man’s self esteem to not be able to perform in bed,” explains David, a 28-year-old musician from Toronto. “Growing up, guys always talk about being a player and being able to perform well sexually. It’s part of guy culture.”
What you can do: This can be a difficult subject to discuss with your partner, but don’t avoid the issue, says McKenzie. A problem left untreated could result in resentment between partners down the road. Approach the situation very delicately, David advises. “Start by saying, ‘You know I love you no matter what,” he suggests. “Don’t make a big deal out of it or make him feel like it will affect your interest in him as a partner if he can’t make it happen.”
4. He’s stressed out about his career
Worrying about work can be a real mood killer for many men, especially if they tend to equate professional success with self-worth. “It’s the times when I feel like I’m going nowhere and accomplishing nothing in my career that I will spiral into a negative place and I would say no to sex,” David explains.
What you can do: Discuss the situation away from the bedroom. “Right before bed isn’t always the best time to engage in a deep conversation,” says David. Instead, mutually decide on a good time to chat about what’s going on in his life. Ask if there’s anything you can do to support him through a stressful time, but be clear that his demanding job is taking a toll on your relationship.
5. He’s exhausted
Chances are, if your partner says he’s too tired for some late-night nookie, he’s really exhausted. “If I’m a little tired, I’m usually up for it,” says David. “But there are times when I’m just so dead to the world I’m physically incapable .”
What you can do: Don’t take it personally. According to McKenzie, about 98 percent of the men he counsels would say that their lack of sexual interest has nothing to do with how they feel about their partners. P.J. concurs. “It would be a turn-off if my partner were to make the issue about her, because then I would feel guilty on top of being exhausted,” he says. Rather than acting hurt or angry, set the stage for a conversation about what’s going on in his life to make him so tired. But if the problem persists for more than six weeks, it’s time to consider getting help from a therapist or physician.
6. You’re moving too fast
If a new man you’re dating turns down an invitation to “come upstairs for a nightcap,” he could be trying to tell you that he’s not ready to sleep with you yet. “There’s a lot of emotional involvement that comes with having sex with somebody,” says P.J. “How do you get skin to skin with someone you don’t know?”
What you can do: Slow down-this could be a sign that the guy wants to get to know you better before getting physical. Take the declined invitation in stride and remember that. “We’re emotional beings too, and we want more than just sex,” says P.J.
Consider these other stories to boost your sex life:
Is Your Sex Life Normal?
The Secret To Having Orgasms
20 Things Every Woman Over 30 Should Know About Sex
Are you too busy for sex?
Are daily responsibilities taking a toll on your married life?
“I am hot! My wife is hot! This was ideally true during our one year of marriage,” a male friend of mine complains.
He continues, “Nowadays, there’s no way for us to have time for sex because our time is consumed with matters of our three kids, and our jobs.”
He adds that, “We don’t have time to unwind. We’re pressured by responsibilities and deadlines all throughout the week. No time for ourselves! No time for the intimacy that couples should have.”
Sound familiar? When you or your spouse reach home is it straight to the kitchen and over to the chores? If you’re beginning to feel like sex was only part of the honeymoon stage of your marriage – we assure you, you are not alone. Not having time to bond with one another or relax, let alone have sex is a complaint heard many a time.
Ouchie! No time for sex. Imagine that!
It seems, however, that this has become true to my marriage as well. For the past few months, I think that our relationship as husband and wife is no longer healthy as we seem to have been reduced to mere house mates, our concerns only focused on the welfare of the children and of work. I can practically hear my husband’s complaints.
From the deepest recesses of my soul, I found myself longing for such coupling intimacy. Gone are the days when our libido was so active that we’d still manage to find time for sex. After two kids with another one on the way, it is a luxury too lofty to experience.
I’ve discovered that life has dulled as we have forgotten that sex is part of our marriage. So, before it was too late, I reviewed the reasons why sex should still very important to married couples.
First, sex must be taken into consideration. It isn’t the center of a marriage but it is part and parcel of marital life. We find ourselves caught up in the many concerns of life but our sex life shouldn’t have to suffer. Many things can happen when the intimate connection between a husband and a wife is lost.
There is a tendency for us to forget our commitment as husband and wife. We may lose sight of our relationship and end up with constantly disagreeing and quarrelling. Resentment may file up since we no longer appreciate each other’s presence. This could lead to infidelity and extra-marital affairs. It is an active sex life that provides the connection that aids in strengthening our relationship.
Second, sexual intercourse represents the significance of the true nature of union and communion. From the perspective of marriage, sex is said to be the deepest expression of love. The more you engage in lovemaking with your partner, the more intimate you become with one another as you share something in common: true love. As the name suggests, lovemaking is to be shared with someone you love. It goes beyond meeting one’s physical needs.
Third, sex helps to build the connection essential to marriage. It drives us to strengthen our bond with our partner. A happily married friend once said, “Sex, in the context of marital relations, can’t just be undermined. It is that which makes life meaningful. Everything I do is easy because I am doing it not for my sake, but for the sake of my partner.”
Thus, if you want your marital relationship to last a lifetime, you should set aside time just for sex.
Since sex is the vital ingredient to husband and wife being in communion, you should never say to your partner, “I’m too busy to even have time for sex”! I can definitely see the husbands getting ready to bold, print and frame that line!
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Here’s why you feel so tired after having sex
- It’s not uncommon to feel sleepy after sex.
- There are a lot of reasons for post-coital sleepiness, which include feeling physically exhausted and emotionally spent.
- The body also releases a host of chemicals during sex that can make people drowsy.
- Men and women may experience post-sex sleepiness differently due to the ways certain hormones affect them.
There’s a good chance you’ve found yourself falling into a peaceful slumber after an intimate encounter. Or maybe you’ve been frustrated with a partner who has passed out without cuddling. But there are a lot of reasons people fall asleep after sex, and it doesn’t necessarily mean a partner is uninterested.
There are some obvious reasons, like the fact that sex usually takes place at night after a long day at work and that it’s a physically exhausting workout. But there are also a variety of chemical and psychological reasons at play.
INSIDER talked with sex therapist and University of Florida psychology professor Dr. Laurie Mintz, sex therapist Dr. Debra Laino, clinical sexologist and certified sexuality educator Dr. Lawrence Siegel, sex therapist Dr. Jane Greer, and sex therapist Dr. Carlen Costa to find out why sex makes you sleepy.
One of the most obvious reasons you might get tired after sex is that it’s physically exhausting.
Sex can be physically exhausting. The Notebook/Facebook
“No matter what type of sex you’re having, even if you’re not hanging from the chandelier, it’s still a cardiovascular workout,” Laino told INSIDER.
During sex, your blood pressure and blood flow increase and there’s a release of endorphins. “There’s a feeling of being spent like after any sport,” Greer told INSIDER. Needless to say, not everyone is an athlete. And if you’re in poor health or suffering from a cardiovascular condition, sex can tire you out even more.
When you orgasm, the brain releases a cocktail of neurochemicals that make you tired.
Both men and women have a significant oxytocin release after orgasm. FOX
“During sex, the brain releases oxytocin which heightens arousal and excitement,” Laino told INSIDER. “But when it wears off, it can leave people feeling really tired.”
“Oxytocin is often accompanied by melatonin, the primary hormone that regulates our body clocks,” Costa told INSIDER. Oxytocin, which has been dubbed the “cuddle hormone,” also helps you regulate the stress hormone known as cortisol, according to Costa. The result is a calming, almost narcotic effect.
In addition to oxytocin, men and women release vasopressin, prolactin, serotonin, nitric oxide, and endorphins, according to Costa. Some of these chemicals aren’t released until you orgasm, so whether or not you orgasm can make a difference in how sleepy you are.
Of course, men and women may react differently to some of these chemicals.
“Women are often more sensitive to the adrenaline or stimulant effect which is why sometimes after a powerful orgasm, some women are energized,” Siegel told INSIDER. “After a powerful orgasm, a guy may be in a coma because he might be more sensitive to the morphine-like effects of the endorphins.”
Sex can also make you tired for a variety of emotional reasons.
Having sex can be emotionally exhausting.
Generally speaking, when you’re having sex, you’re doing so with someone you trust. “When we feel more trusting, we are putting our bodies in an increasing relaxed state,” Costa told INSIDER. “This then tells our brains that we don’t need to be on alert, or in fight-or-flight. Instead, it tells us to stay calm.”
Sex can also help you feel safe and grounded. “If it’s been a good encounter, it helps you feel connected, close to your partner, relaxed, safe in the world, and all of those things facilitate sleep,” Mintz told INSIDER.
On the flipside, you might feel emotionally depleted after sex. “Just the intensity of feelings that people experience in lovemaking, from feeling overwhelmed by their love to feeling very excited, all of these feelings can be depleting,” Greer told INSIDER. “For many people, opening up sexually can make them feel vulnerable and vulnerability can use up a certain degree of emotional energy.”
Stress can also have an impact on whether or not someone gets tired after sex. “If someone’s really, really stressed and they have sex, and maybe they’re having sex for a release, after they have sex or after they ejaculate or have an orgasm, they’ll get even more tired,” Laino told INSIDER.
Responses to sex differ from person to person.
Some people might feel energized after sex and ready to take on the world, while others want nothing more than to curl up and fall asleep.
“There are so many influential factors including your current nutrition levels, your mental health, who you’re having sex with, why you’re having sex, plus all the goodness happening in your body, that it is difficult to pinpoint an exact reason why we become sleepy after sex,” Costa told INSIDER.
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All the Sleepy Ladies: Why Women Get More Tired Than Men
Greatist News examines and explains the trends and studies making headlines in fitness, health, and happiness. Check out all the news here.
Birth control, equal pay, government representation — and sleep? Turns out snooze time may be the latest item on the list of women’s issues. According to recent research from the Centers for Disease Control, women are more likely than men to say they’re tired or even exhausted. While there’s no single explanation for the gender difference, there are lots of biological and psychosocial factors that can send women straight for the nap room.
What’s the Deal?
Results from the CDC research show that between 2010 and 2011, about 15 percent of women reported they felt very tired or exhausted, while only 10 percent of men confessed to the same. The gender difference was especially large among people 18 to 44 years old (about 16 percent of women versus nine percent of men). These findings add to other research suggesting that men say they need less sleep than women do, and that women are more likely to experience sleep disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome and insomnia.
It’s unclear why exactly women tend to have more problems in the snooze department, but the reason is likely related to some social and biological issues. For one thing, 18 to 44 is the age range when women usually have children. So it’s possible that, in some families, women are the ones who are up tending to screaming babies in the middle of the night.
Studies have also found that in opposite-sex couples who share a bed, men are more likely to disturb their mates. That’s possibly because women’s circadian rhythm is about six minutes shorter than men’sSex difference in the near-24-hour intrinsic period of the human circadian timing system. Duffy, J.F., Cain, S.W., Chang, A.M., et al. Division of Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 2011 Sep 13;108 Suppl 3:15602-8.. That means women are generally wired to fall asleep and wake up earlier than men, and ladies who try to go to bed at the same time as their male partners might be messing with their biological clocks.
All these sleep issues can have serious health consequences for women. Research has found women who sleep poorly are more likely to suffer from heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and psychosocial distress than men who also sleep poorlySelf-reported symptoms of sleep disturbance and inflammation, coagulation, insulin resistance and psychosocial distress: evidence for gender disparity. Suarez, E.C. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C., USA. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 2008 Aug;22(6):960-8.. (Of course, it’s unclear whether not getting a good night’s sleep actually causes any of these symptoms.) And good morning, grumpy: Other studies have found sleep-deprived women tend to wake up more miserable than men who got the same amount of rest.
Is It Legit?
Probably. It’s worth noting that the CDC study relied on self-reporting, and it’s conceivable that women might just be more likely than men to admit they’re tired. Women are also more likely to say they’re stressed and to say they experience physical symptoms of stress (such as headaches and indigestion). So it’s possible that, in women, fatigue might be the body’s way of asking for a break from a hectic day.
Interestingly, the fact that women say they’re more tired doesn’t mean they’re more likely to be slacking on their responsibilities at the office. Research has found that when men and women are sleep-deprived, men are more likely to show poor performance at work. These findings suggest women are more accustomed to having to function on the job while feeling tired.
Obviously, sleep is important for everyone, but more and more research suggests women might need to be especially vigilant about making sure they get a solid night’s rest.
Do you think women experience more sleep-related issues? Let us know your thoughts by commenting, tweeting @Greatist, or heading over to our brand new Greatist Community forums!
caption You may notice a few things happening after sex. source Rawpixel.com/
In those first moments after you’ve been intimate with someone, you’re probably feeling pretty good. With so much happening and the fact you’re probably tired, it’s no surprise you’re not focussing on what’s going on with your body.
Because sex involves the entire body, you may experience some reactions that seem a little off but are actually pretty normal.
Here’s a list of some of the most common things that can happen to your body after intimacy and why they’re usually nothing to worry about.
Feelings of attachment can be increased post-sex.
caption It has to do with the release of oxytocin. source
After an orgasm, people can feel a close connection to their partner, according to Mary Jane Minkin, MD, OB-GYN, clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine.
The chemical oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone,” is released after orgasmic responses, she explained, which enhances a sense of closeness to one’s partner. Oxytocin has also been linked to yielding increased feelings of trust, influencing an individual’s decision to disclose feelings to one’s partner and in turn, building a closer connection.
There may be some semen that leaks post-sex.
caption Another reason to urinate after sex. source gpointstudio/ iStock
If you’re not using condoms or another form of birth control, you may notice some semen leaking out of the vagina after having sex. Don’t worry, it’s totally normal.
There’s no place else for it to go since your body isn’t going to absorb it. To reduce it, you can urinate to expel much of the leakage, Yvonne S. Thornton, M.D., vice chairperson of the department of OB-GYN at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in New York City told Cosmopolitan. You can also thoroughly wash the area after intercourse to clear it all up.
Your face may look flushed.
caption It’s nothing to worry about. source .
It’s not uncommon to see measle-like pink patches on the face, top of the chest, or occasionally over the whole body post-orgasm, according to Dr. Robert Huizenga, a celebrity physician and author of “Sex, Lies, and STDs.”
It’s caused by the temporarily increased blood flow in the skin, and usually disappears within minutes – though sometimes it can linger for a full hour after an orgasm, Dr. Huizenga explained.
Cramps can be caused by an orgasm.
caption Sex can cause cramps. source HBO
As good as sex can be, it can also bring pain, according to a British study. Some people who get their period experience menstrual-like cramps after intercourse and there a few common causes.
For some, orgasms actually can cause cramps in the lower abdominal area. Another cause could be due to having a tilted uterus, making it easier for your partner to hit your cervix, causing pain.
Cramps after sex are often normal if the pain is mild, but if it’s persistent or severe, you’ll want to see your gynecologist.
You can suddenly be very sleepy.
caption Definitely worth waking up for. source
If you find that you need to take a catnap after sex, you’re not alone. There are actually several reasons why people feel tired after intimacy.
“One possibility is that you could just be physically exhausted, giving you a similar feeling of fatigue after doing some intense cardio. It’s also possible that you’re reacting to the change in chemicals that are released during and after an orgasm,” Dr. Huizenga told INSIDER.
The neurochemicals that are released building up to and during an orgasm amp up arousal and excitement, he explained. “Afterward, the profile of chemicals released changes abruptly. Men, more so than women, tend to get very sleepy likely because they respond more to the morphine-like sedating properties of the endorphins,” Dr. Huizenga said.
It can feel a little itchy down there.
caption It’s typically due to a few common causes. source Photographee.eu/
Feeling itchy down there after sex is usually nothing to worry about.
You may feel irritation in that area due to all of the friction that was happening during intercourse. Pubic hair can cause a kind of rug burn when rubbing against another body, bringing about skin irritation and rashes. If the itchiness or redness doesn’t subside, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with your doctor.
It’s also possible that you have a sensitivity or allergy to the lube you use or with latex condoms, Maureen Whelihan, M.D., an OB-GYNat the Center for Sexual Health and Education in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina told Glamour. You can try switching out your lube or condom variety to see it it makes a difference.
Something smells kind of funky.
caption A funky smell is common after sex. source /topnatthapon
When you think about it, it makes sense that things start to smell some down there after sex. According to Women’s Health magazine, this is because you’re combining vaginal secretion of a low pH with semen of a high pH, which produces a chemical reaction with a completely new odor.
Plus, the groin is similar to the armpit in that it has a high concentration of sweat glands, meaning that it’s likely to get pretty sweaty down there during physical activity. That all adds up to a certain musk.
The sex smell is usually not a big deal unless you notice a persistent fishy or foul odor and in that case, you’ll want to talk to your gynecologist to make sure you don’t have a bacterial imbalance.
Your vagina looks bigger.
caption This is probably due to friction during sex. source AlessandroBiascioli/
You may have noticed that your vagina actually looks slightly enlarged after you’ve had sex. One of the most common causes of this swelling is because of friction. Having rough sex or simply not being lubricated enough during sex could cause irritation that leads to swelling.
It’s also possible that the swelling is caused by arousal. The vagina naturally gets wet and swells when in the mood, and it’s perfectly normal. If the swelling doesn’t disappear within a few hours, you should see your doctor.
You might be sore.
caption A little soreness might be OK. source Dean Drobot/
It’s normal to feel a little sore after sex but this soreness should by no means reach the point of actual pain. People with vaginas often experience soreness after a long session of intercourse but if the pain is significant, it could be a sign of an autoimmune disorder, endometriosis, among other things.
“Sex should not hurt, besides maybe a little soreness after a long or hard sexual session,” Jessa Zimmerman, a certified sex therapist and author of “Sex Without Stress,” previously told INSIDER. “If the pain is consistently a problem, should absolutely see a doctor.”
Listen to your body and determine whether the soreness is an appropriate reaction to your recent sexual activity or if it’s something more.
You might have spotting.
caption Bleeding after sex can be caused by a number of things. source Sarah Schmalbruch/INSIDER
Don’t be alarmed if you notice that you’re bleeding after sex. It’s actually surprisingly common and there are multiple reasons it could be happening.
According to the NHS, when your vagina is dry, you may experience bleeding from friction during sex. Or it could be a sign of endometriosis. Medical News Today reports that endometriosis can cause extreme pelvic pain, heavy periods and bleeding after sex.
Read more: 10 reasons why you might be bleeding after sex
Whatever the reason, it’s worth discussing with your doctor if you’re noticing you consistently bleed after sex.
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