If you regularly feel wiped out after sex, you’re not alone. While some people want to cuddle after sex, many people just want to roll over and fall asleep. So, how do you stay awake long enough to keep your partner happy? And how do you prevent your fatigue from rolling over into the following day?
Many people turn to morning sex as a way to stay alert, assuming that they are simply exhausted after a long day. But this can be dangerous, particularly if there is an underlying reason for your exhaustion after sex. If you need to be alert throughout the day, your post-coital fatigue could leave you feeling sleepy and irritable for the whole day.
If sex makes you feel tired the next day, the first step to solving this problem is to get to the bottom of why you feel tired. There could be a medical reason for your exhaustion, and it could be easily addressed. It could also have something to do with your technique, and simple changes could help you to feel more alert the day after sex.
These are the top reasons you might feel exhausted after sex and what you can do to fix it.
The most obvious reason to feel tired the day after sex is that sex is a physically demanding activity. If you’re pretty athletic in the bedroom, it could be the case that you are simply wearing yourself down.
Just like an intense gym session will leave you feeling sore and tired the next day, so can sex. When you’re caught up in the moment, you might not realise you’re getting an intense workout. But sex is an intense strength and cardio workout, and this can leave you feeling sleepy the next day. Sex is an intense workout, so make sure you give your body time to rest and recover afterwards.
How to fix this: Try slowing things down and taking breaks. You don’t always have to sprint to the finish line, you can slow down your rhythm and take a moment to catch your breath as you change position. This mindful approach can help you achieve stronger and longer orgasms, and might help you to feel less exhausted the next day.
An orgasm might feel like a whole-body physical experience, but a lot of it takes place in the mind. When you reach orgasm, your body releases a cocktail of chemicals and hormones. These range from the “cuddle” hormone, oxytocin to the “sleepy” hormone melatonin.
While some people feel very close to their partner after sex and just want to cuddle, others are overcome with melatonin, which is responsible for managing sleep patterns. This is why some people roll over and fall asleep immediately after.
How to fix this: This isn’t something you can really fix, because it’s simply your body doing its job. If you’re already exhausted when you get in bed, you might be fighting off the melatonin before you even get started. So when you finally have that release, your body will be ready to slip into a deep sleep.
Try getting into bed earlier while you’re still alert and you should be able to enjoy the benefits of the oxytocin before you drift off to sleep. Or you could just accept that you like to fall asleep after sex and enjoy the intense feeling of relaxation.
If your partner is upset about this, try to explain that this is a physical reaction, not an emotional one. If cuddling after sex is important to your partner, try getting started earlier, or having sex at the weekend when you’re less tired.
If you’re dealing with a lot of stress in your life, sex can help to calm your mind at the end of a long day. Sex leads to a reduction in the stress hormone cortisone, and when this drops, you’ll find it easier to drift off to sleep. If stress is keeping you awake at night, it might be a relief that sex helps you to enjoy a good night’s rest.
Sex is an intimate act and your body will feel more relaxed when you’re with someone you love. This causes your body to drop its “fight or flight” instincts and can result in you drifting into a deep sleep soon after sex. It can also leave you feeling sleepy the next day.
How to fix this: Taking control of stress in your everyday life is a great way to stop sex leaving you feeling tired the next day. When sex isn’t your main source of stress relief, you’ll find you can enjoy it more and don’t feel so drained immediately afterwards and the following day.
If sex makes you feel tired the next day, this could be a sign that you are suffering from a vitamin deficiency. Your body needs vitamins and minerals every day to help keep things working as they should.
Some of these vitamins can’t be stored in the body, so you need to get them from your diet every day. If your diet is lacking, or you struggle to absorb vitamins, you might feel more tired after sex. Women who suffer from anaemia are very likely to feel exhausted after sex, and this can continue into the next day.
Common vitamin deficiencies that can impact your sex life include vitamin d, magnesium and zinc. You could also be suffering from low iron or vitamin B12. When your body is lacking in the vitamins and minerals it needs to function, exhaustion after sex can follow.
Iron is essential for creating red blood cells which help give you energy. B12 is essential for normal energy-yielding metabolism. Vitamin D helps to prevent muscle cramps. And zinc is essential for sexual health. A zinc deficiency can cause low sex drive and even erectile dysfunction.
How to fix this: Start by adding a multivitamin to your daily routine to see if this helps you. A simple blood test could also help to confirm which vitamins you’re running low in. You can then supplement specific vitamins to help ease your symptoms.
Your diet could also be to blame, so try adding more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. When we feel tired, we’re more likely to reach for heavy carbs to help give us energy, but this can be detrimental to your sex drive.
If you’ve run through this list and can’t find a reason for your exhaustion, try slowing things down and exploring less athletic positions. You might be simply overexerting yourself. You can also try getting into bed earlier and making more time for sex. Trying to fit it in at the end of a long day is likely to leave you feeling spent. And finally, sex toys and props can take some of the pressure off.
Any position that requires balance, core strength or upper body strength is going to leave you feeling tired. If you have to support your partner in any way, this will also increase your energy use.
Seated and standing positions are great for slowing things down and using minimal energy. The Face Off position allows the man to sit on the edge of the bed while their partner straddles them. Movement is minimal, so there’s less chance of getting worn out.
And if you’re always on top, let your partner take the lead for once. This will allow you to lie back and let them set the speed and rhythm.
Sex is something that deserves its own schedule. If you try to squeeze in sex around a busy schedule, something is going to have to give. And it’s usually sleep that we sacrifice. Instead, try getting into bed earlier so that you don’t miss out on your usual 8 hours.
If your alarm goes off at 7 am, you need to be drifting off to sleep by 11 pm at the latest. If you get into bed at 10 pm, this will give you plenty of time for foreplay, sex, clean up and cuddles. It might feel unromantic to schedule sex in this way, but you might find it much more fulfilling.
You don’t have to restrict sex to the nighttime. Finding the time during the day or in the morning when you are more alert can help you to manage the fatigue.
Sex toys can take some of the pressure off you to perform. Bringing sex toys into the bedroom is not a replacement for intimacy, it’s a way to enhance your intimacy. If you want to guarantee your partner has a good time without wearing yourself out, sex toys are the way to go.
Look for couple-friendly sex toys that will fit between you without getting in the way. You’re not looking for something to replace you, you want something that will enhance your work. Bullet vibrators, anal plugs and nipple clamps are the ideal choices in this scenario.
Sex toys can also help shake things up and bring something fresh to the bedroom. So if you’ve been putting off intimacy because you find it exhausting, sex toys offer a fun route back to your normal sex life.
Diet and sex drive are more connected than you might think. When food is nothing more than fuel, if you aren’t filling your body with the right fuel, you won’t be able to perform. A poor diet can cause a decline in libido and leave you feeling sluggish.
If you’re reliant on refined carbs and quick fixes to get you through the day, try switching to whole grain foods and fresh fruits and vegetables. If you’re a meat-eater, adding some high-quality grass-fed beef to your diet can help. Vegetarians and vegans can add high-quality protein sources such as tofu or legumes.
Drinking before sex can reduce your performance and leave you feeling more sluggish. Cutting out drinking before sex is a great way to increase your enjoyment and reduce the chances of feeling exhausted the next day. When you combine alcohol with vigorous exercise, you could be mistaking a hangover for exhaustion.
Alcohol also disrupts your sleep, so while you might feel sleepy after sex, you won’t be able to slip into a deep sleep. And when you don’t get to enjoy deep REM sleep, you’ll wake the next day feeling irritable and tired.
Make sure you’re drinking at least 8 glasses of water throughout the day. And make sure you stick to plain water. Fizzy drinks, tea and coffee don’t count towards your total. Caffeine can actually have the opposite effect, so make sure you limit your caffeine consumption.
You’ll know if you’re dehydrated because your urine will be darker. It should be clear and pale, the same colour as straw. If it’s any darker than this, you know it’s time to increase your water intake.
While there is the temptation to want to fix everything in our lives, it’s also possible that you simply get tired after sex because it’s an exhausting thing to do. As long as your life is not impacted by your sleepiness, there should be no reason you don’t just accept that sex helps you enjoy a good night’s sleep.
If you have ever suffered from insomnia, it can be reassuring to know that you have a surefire way to encourage your mind and body to shut down. Feeling sleepy after sex is a completely normal reaction, so bear this in mind and try to make the most of your restful sleep.