I have had two ladies ask me this question, “Why do I have a hard time falling asleep after sex?” and “Why can’t I sleep after sex?” Personally, I don’t sleep well in general, so having sex doesn’t really change much for me, even though I can tell you that I’m more wound up afterward. So, I asked my followers if they had a hard time sleeping after sex and found it really interesting that several women said that they have the same problem, but didn’t know others struggled with it.
Here’s a few things I learned from asking my followers and other bloggers about how sex affects sleep. The first thing I found out is that a lot of times men fall asleep right after sex even if they want to stay awake. And the second thing I learned is that more women were awake for more than an hour after sexual activities.
Why Men Don’t Struggle to Sleep After Sex
Are you one of those people that can’t fall asleep after sex but didn’t know others deal with the same thing? I just chalk this up to one of those things that we never talk about in regards to sex life. But, it seems more prevalent in women to have this problem. Jay Dee, creator of 50 Sexy Coupons and Blogger over at Uncovering Intimacy said this: “Men release prolactin when they have an orgasm….4x as much when having sex than solo activities. Prolactin makes you sleepy. As well, orgasm requires you to let go of fear and anxiety and men are more likely to orgasm. Lastly, men typically expend more energy in bed, so their energy stores are more depleted.”
Another thing that orgasms do is lead to the release of the chemical oxytocin. According to a study, when the body releases oxytocin in stress-free conditions, it naturally causes a person to feel calm enough to go to sleep.
So, in general, men fall asleep after sex and often have better sleep after sexual activity.
So Why Can’t Some Women Fall Asleep After Sex?
Now, that only answers why men tend to sleep after sex, not why women get wound up. I did some research and couldn’t find anything intelligent about why this is. It seems that there are not a lot of studies that have been published to really explain why women (and sometimes men) feel really wound up after sex.
Here are my personal thoughts:
1. Women crave emotional connection from their partner in their sex life and life in general. After sex is the time you feel most emotionally connected to your husband, so you get a second wind from the excitement of arousal and orgasm. The dilemma is that a lot of husbands fall right to sleep after. Some honestly can’t help but fall asleep after sex.
2. The woman didn’t orgasm, meaning she didn’t get the release of oxytocin. That’s not to say that this is the only way to get that release. Another way is to snuggle or cuddle. If your husband is falling asleep, that’s not happening for you.
3. The wife needs multiple orgasms and is left wound up because she only had one. If you haven’t had enough to feel satisfied, it can leave you full of excitement and arousal.
These are a few things that could be causing sex to affect your sleep.
What to do When You Can’t Sleep After Sex
So, what do you do if you can’t sleep after sex and it’s keeping you up afterward? I lay in bed with the lights out and look at animal videos on Instagram. Some women suggest reading. Others say they get up and do something for a little bit.
You could also let your husband take a nap for a few minutes and wake him up for snuggle time. Or you could stay awake and enjoy that time alone.
My suggestion is that you schedule sex early enough in the night if you can’t get to sleep for an hour or more, it’s not going to affect waking up the next day. Being intimate with your partner late at night and then having to calm down for an hour will wreck your health and ability to get up early.
I know this is a big problem for women with small kids that are getting up during the night or first thing in the morning. Getting poor sleep or not enough is going to have a negative effect on you the next day. And…it could make you resent your spouse’s requests for sex.
For those in that position that they are not getting a healthy amount of sleep at night, take a nap during the day. I know it’s hard, but find ways to take a nap. Even if you have to take a 20-minute nap in bed when your husband gets home from work, do it. It’ll help you take the edge off of sleep deprivation. You’re in a season of life right now where it’s ok if all you can manage to do is keep the people alive from day to day.
If you are someone that has sleep problems after you have sex or just in general, it’s important you schedule time to get the rest you need. Work with your spouse to work with you on having sex at times in the day that will keep you from having poor sleep quality at night.
Don’t Skip Out on Intimacy
I know it can be hard to spend time with your spouse after a long day, but it is so important to connect with them on an intimate level. If you can’t get to sleep after being intimate, then your best bet is to plan for that.
Don’t skip on sex, but find times that work well for you. Put your kids in front of the tv so you can have some uninterrupted time together while they are still up.
Good luck with figuring out what works for your marriage. If you can’t sleep after sex, hopefully, some of these tips will help you!