Many men fall into a deep slumber after sex while their partners struggle to stay awake. It’s due to the release of a variety of hormones, including prolactin and oxytocin.
These hormones suppress cortisol and promote sleepiness. Massaging, stroking and other physical affection associated with sexual arousal and foreplay also bring down cortisol levels.
A big reason that people feel sleepy after sex is because they’re physically exhausted. This is particularly true if the person who fell asleep didn’t get enough sleep before they had sex, which can be a common cause of post-sex fatigue for women.
In addition, sex is an energetic activity, and the body has to work hard to keep up with the physical demands of orgasm. For example, men ejaculate during orgasm, which means that they are releasing hormones like prolactin, oxytocin, and vasopressin, as well as the sleep-regulating melatonin. These chemicals can make you very sleepy.
This is why you might be surprised to hear that some men fall asleep immediately after sex. In most cases, this is not a sign that they are uninterested in their partner; rather, it’s a natural reaction to the hormonal release of sex.
Another thing that can contribute to feelings of exhaustion after sex is nausea. This can occur if you have an upset stomach, and it can also be a sign of pregnancy or menopause for some women. Fortunately, if you experience this, it usually resolves itself fairly quickly once you eat or take an anti-nausea medication. This is why it’s important to listen to your body. If you need to nap after sex, then take it! It’s better than fighting against it and becoming irritable and tired for the rest of the day.
When you feel like sleeping after sex, it could be due to an emotional exhaustion. While sex is a natural way to bond with your partner, it can also lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. This is why some people are sleepy after sex, even when the encounter is pleasurable.
During orgasm, your body releases the hormones oxytocin and prolactin, which cause feelings of pleasure and relaxation. These chemicals suppress the release of cortisol, which is associated with feelings of stress and anxiety. As a result, sex reduces your levels of stress hormones and makes you feel more relaxed. These feelings of peace and relaxation can lead to sleepiness.
Men are more likely to fall asleep after sex than women because they secrete more of the hormone prolactin, which causes them to enter what’s called the “refractory period” and makes them feel tired, according to Live Science. The reason that prolactin makes you sleepy is because it suppresses dopamine, a brain chemical that helps you stay awake.
Whether you’re a man or woman, however, you can make the most of sex by pairing it with cuddling and conversation, which are proven ways to enhance bonding and boost your mood. In fact, researchers found that couples who spend more time talking and cuddling after sex report higher levels of satisfaction with their relationship than those who don’t.
When you feel mentally exhausted, your attention span is reduced and your ability to focus becomes diminished. Your emotional responses may also be affected, causing you to feel irritable and anxious. If this state continues for long periods of time, you can develop psychiatric problems such as depression or anxiety.
Your body releases a chemical called melatonin, which regulates your sleep cycles. It also releases other chemicals, such as oxytocin and vasopressin, that are associated with sleep. This might explain why you feel so sleepy after sex. Oxytocin and vasopressin are involved in pair bonding, the attachment between human mates. This is probably a biologically important evolutionary reason why these chemicals are released during sexual activity.
During sexual arousal, your heart rate and blood pressure increase, but as you reach the peak of arousal, known as orgasm, these hormones decrease. You might then become very tired because your body has expended a lot of energy in reaching the orgasm. In addition, during orgasm, painkilling chemicals are released and can further deplete your energy.
Keeping up with your sex life can be challenging when you’re exhausted from work, family, and other responsibilities. Try to make sex a priority and avoid putting too many other demands on your time. If you’re still feeling lethargic after sex, consider seeing a therapist who can help you manage your stress levels.
A lack of sleep can contribute to feelings of fatigue and may also reduce sexual arousal. However, sex can help increase the amount of sleep that people get. This is because orgasm, the peak of sexual arousal, leads to the release of chemicals in the body that help promote more sleep. Likewise, sex also tends to decrease the stress hormone cortisol, which causes many people to feel relaxed and sleepy afterward.
While there are a number of obvious reasons why people might fall asleep after sex, like the fact that sex usually takes place at night and is a physically exhausting workout, there are also some more complicated chemical and psychological reasons. INSIDER talked with sex therapists, University of Florida psychology professors, clinical sexologists and a variety of other experts to find out what’s behind these swings in energy levels and why sex makes us so sleepy.
As we all know, sex is a very pleasurable experience, but it’s also one that is often physically and emotionally tiring. This is especially true if you’ve reached orgasm, the highest point of sexual arousal. During orgasm, the body secretes a host of sleep-inducing chemicals, including the prolactin hormone and the “feel-good” hormone oxytocin. These substances, along with the release of melatonin (the hormone that regulates our body clocks), lead to deep relaxation and, of course, sleepiness.