Why Do I Feel Tired After Sex?

man and woman lying on bed

You’ve probably seen that classic caricature of a man falling asleep post-sex while his partner stares up at the ceiling. Whether or not this is true for your relationship, feeling tired after sex is common and can happen for many reasons.

During sexual activity, the body releases chemicals that can make you feel sleepy. Those chemicals include:

Physical Exhaustion

Whether you’re a man or a woman, there are some obvious reasons that sex can make you tired. Especially if it happens late at night, after you’ve spent a long day at work, or even if you’re in bed already, sex can leave you feeling lethargic. This is mostly due to the fact that being sexy takes a lot of energy, and you may find yourself exhausted once all of the hormones have worn off.

Besides, sex is a physical workout that can cause your blood pressure and blood flow to increase significantly. This can result in a feeling of exhaustion similar to that felt after a good workout, sex therapist Jane Greer told INSIDER. In addition, there are other factors that contribute to fatigue after sex, such as gas and heartburn.

In both men and women, the release of oxytocin can lead to a feeling of being exhausted after sex. Oxytocin is also known as the “cuddle hormone” and can promote feelings of connection, trust, and safety. However, not everyone gets exhausted after sex. It really depends on your individual responses to these chemicals, as well as other factors like your stress level and how you’re coping with it. This is why it’s important to learn how your body responds to sex so that you can plan accordingly, or at least be aware of when you might need to take a break from intimacy.

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Emotional Exhaustion

Sex isn’t just physically tiring; it’s also emotionally draining. This is because sex can make you feel more aware of your unconscious thoughts, including those that are negative. In addition, intimacy can reveal any unresolved issues you may have with your partner and can bring up memories of past sexual traumas. These can cause feelings of sadness or anger that may take their toll on you both in and out of the bedroom.

Aside from these more emotional factors, the brain releases certain chemicals during sex that can make you feel sleepy. For example, the release of oxytocin, known as the “cuddle hormone,” often accompanies orgasm and promotes sleepiness. The release of vasopressin, which is related to fertility, can also make you feel drowsy.

Although it’s normal to feel exhausted after sex, you should seek help if you think your feelings are severe or are interfering with your daily activities. Talking with a mental health professional can help you determine what’s causing your fatigue and create a plan to combat it. In the meantime, try to get enough sleep and exercise regularly to improve your stamina. Also, avoid or limit your intake of caffeine and sugary drinks, which can contribute to feeling tired after sex. In addition, practice stress-management techniques by focusing on neutral or positive events that are occurring in your life.

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Chemical Releases

As a result of sexual activity, the body produces various chemical reactions. These can make us feel tired. These chemicals include prolactin, oxytocin, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) and endorphins. These chemicals create feelings of euphoria and pleasure. They also reduce pain and stress. They also reduce sensitivity to pain in the pelvic area.

Men’s bodies produce a chemical called prolactin after orgasm. It helps to create a feeling of sexual satisfaction, but it also discourages arousal and creates what’s known as a “refractory period.” As a result, it can take a while for a man to be aroused again. Prolactin can also cause a sleepy feeling after sex.

The brain is also dabbling in chemistry during and leading up to orgasm. It releases a torrent of sleep-inducing chemicals, including serotonin, norepinephrine, vasopressin and oxytocin, Astroglide’s resident sexologist Jess O’Reilly told Bustle. They also release melatonin, which regulates the body’s clock.

The combination of these chemicals creates a “narcotic” effect that makes sex pleasurable. The chemicals also help to reduce pain and stress, which can contribute to fatigue after sex. They can also cause a sensation of floating or weightlessness. For some, these chemicals can lead to nausea. This can be caused by overstimulation of the opiate receptors in the brain. It can also be a symptom of gastroenteritis or other digestive problems.

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Mental Exhaustion

Mental exhaustion can occur for a variety of reasons. It may be caused by emotional exhaustion or physical issues, such as dehydration and fatigue. It can also be a result of certain medications or medical conditions. It can be difficult to avoid or overcome mental exhaustion, but it is possible with the right support and self-awareness. It is important to recognize the signs of mental exhaustion so that you can seek treatment if needed.

Ultimately, the feeling of being exhausted after sex is common and natural for both men and women. The biological and psychological changes that occur during sexual activity can be tiring. However, there are ways to reduce this fatigue, such as having a clear mind before engaging in sex, sleeping well, and avoiding intoxication.

For men, the most likely reason they feel sleepy after sex is because of the hormones they release during intimacy. The release of oxytocin and prolactin can lead to feelings of relaxation, which can promote drowsiness. Additionally, the brain’s prefrontal cortex switches off post-orgasm, which can contribute to a tired feeling. Finally, men often lose energy during orgasm through ejaculation, which can make them feel spent. This can leave them with a feeling of exhaustion that makes it difficult to fall asleep. This is why it’s important for men to choose a time of day when they can focus on their partners and their needs.

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