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Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex?

Dr. Laurence Levine Dr. Laurence Levine
Updated on April 21, 2021
Man sleeping after having sex

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Question

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 is producing 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 health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition

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