Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex?

Dr. Laurence Levine
Expert in male sexual health, leading Urologist in USA Dr. Laurence Levine
Last updated 09/14/2022
Man sleeping after having sex

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After sex, my husband always falls asleep. I like to cuddle and have some light conversation afterwards, but by the time I've cleaned up and have caught my bearings, my husband is typically fast asleep.

Why do men fall asleep after sex and is this normal?

There are several reasons why men can feel so tired and sleepy after sex, even if the encounter was particularly passionate and energizing.

The causes of post-coitus sleepiness include:

Environmental Factors

Many people have sex at night, in bed, with the lights off.

Unfortunately, those factors also signal the brain that it's time to go to sleep, so once you're finished, you'll be ready to catch some Zs.

Prolactin Discharge

Prolactin is a hormone present in both men and women.

For men, the body produces prolactin immediately following an orgasm.

Prolactin's primary purpose is to create sexual satiety and discourage arousal causing the refractory period.

This hormone is why it can take so long before a guy gets in the mood again (the "refractory period").

Prolactin also inhibits dopamine, the brain chemical that helps you stay awake. Research indicates that the body produces four times as much prolactin after sex than it does from masturbation, creating more significant side effects (i.e., fatigue).

Higher Oxytocin Levels

During sex, the brain produces more oxytocin, which helps relieve stress and tension to facilitate orgasm.

So, post-coitus, you feel more relaxed, which, when combined with all the other factors, makes it easy to fall asleep.

Takeaways

If your partner falls asleep after intimacy, don't take it as an insult.

Their body produces post-orgasm chemicals that can lead to tiredness and relaxation.

Both oxytocin and prolactin will be released after intimacy and are the leading factors for the tiredness men experience after sex.

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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Sources:

Absorption Pharmaceuticals LLC (Promescent) has strict informational citing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic or research institutions, medical associations, and medical experts. We attempt to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references and only citing trustworthy sources. Each article is reviewed, written, and updated by Medical Professionals or authoritative Experts in a specific, related field of practice. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • Magon N, Kalra S. The orgasmic history of oxytocin: Love, lust, and labor. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Sep;15 Suppl 3(Suppl3):S156-61. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.84851. PMID: 22029018; PMCID: PMC3183515. Accessed September 14, 2022.
  • Brody S, Krüger TH. The post-orgasmic prolactin increase following intercourse is greater than following masturbation and suggests greater satiety. Biol Psychol. 2006 Mar;71(3):312-5. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2005.06.008. Epub 2005 Aug 10. PMID: 16095799. Accessed September 14, 2022.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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