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Why does sex make you sleepy?


Why does sex make you sleepy?

Why does sex make you sleepy? Get to the bottom of those post-coital ZZZs, which have something to do with feel-good hormones and emotional bonding.

Crashing right after sex isn't unusual.

Whether it's you dozing off or your partner passing out, chances are you've had to skip the aftercare or post-sex recap when someone fell asleep too quickly.

But why does sex make you so sleepy sometimes?  

If you're missing out on the post-sex cuddling you crave more often than not, it might be comforting to know that post-sex sleepiness is more complex than it appears. Chemically, physically, emotionally — there's a whole science behind why our bodies want to hit the hay post-sex. 

Does sex make you tired? 

One of the simplest reasons why you might feel sleepy after getting it on is because it's relaxing. Orgasms release stress and tension (among many other benefits), which makes it easier to doze off, even if your partner's ready and waiting to snuggle. Here are a few other factors that contribute to post-sex sleepiness:  

Physical exhaustion 

Sex is a physical activity that demands energy, just like any other workout. It increases blood pressure and blood flow, releasing endorphins just like your favorite workout class. This exertion can leave you feeling spent, especially if you're not in the best physical shape or have underlying health conditions.  

Release of neurochemicals 

Sexual activity and orgasm trigger the release of a potent blend of feel-good neurochemicals in the brain. The hormones released during sex and after orgasm include oxytocin, melatonin, and serotonin — among many others. For some, this release can bring on a restful sense of relaxation that’s a slippery slope toward snoozeville.

For others, it’s the opposite experience. If you’ve ever wondered why men fall asleep after sex more often or why women fall asleep after sex less frequently, you’re not alone. While this can still vary greatly from person to person, some women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB) may be more sensitive to the stimulant effect of intimacy and orgasm, which can feel energizing instead of tiring. 

Emotional bonding

Some people may experience significant emotions during sex. This can be especially true if you're sleeping with someone you trust wholeheartedly. This emotional connection sends signals to your body that trigger a sense of safety and relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep afterward. Plus, experiencing intense emotions like love and vulnerability during sex can deplete your energy reserves, making you want to nap even more after you’ve done the deed.  

When should sleepiness after sex concern you?  

Experiencing drowsiness after sex is quite common, but some signs and symptoms might indicate a bigger problem than your run-of-the-mill post-sex sleep habit. If you consistently encounter any of the following symptoms after sex, consult a medical professional to prioritize your overall well-being and rule out any underlying health issues.  

Excessive tiredness 

It's normal to feel a bit tired after sex, but if you're overwhelmingly exhausted every time, this may be a red flag. When post-sex exhaustion interferes with your daily activities or feels entirely out of proportion to how much you're exerting yourself physically, it’s time to take a step back and book an appointment with your doctor. This level of fatigue can potentially indicate a severe health issue.  


Occasional light-headedness after intercourse or masturbation isn’t unusual, but regular or intense dizziness paired with sleepiness is concerning. This symptom can indicate anything from overexertion and blood pressure problems to blood sugar issues and dehydration. If you're regularly sleepy and dizzy after sexual activity, discuss this with your doctor to rule out these and other potential causes. 

Postcoital dysphoria 

If you lose energy after ejaculating or orgasm, or if you feel tired, sad, or anxious after sex, there might be another underlying cause. While sex generally triggers happiness and relaxation due to feel-good neurochemicals, individuals with postcoital dysphoria may feel negative emotions and low energy after having sex. If you relate to any of these symptoms, contact your doctor. 

Other rare conditions  

Post-orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS) is another medical disorder that can cause abnormal post-sex exhaustion. This rare condition's symptoms include extreme tiredness, brain fog, and flu-like symptoms for up to five days after sex or orgasm. Medical professionals think that seminal fluid allergy or an undetermined brain process could trigger POIS, so get checked out if you feel you might have this condition.  

How to talk to your partner about being sleepy after sex  

If your partner often falls asleep right after sex, it might make you feel used, lonely, or in need of aftercare you're not getting. On the other hand, your partner might simply prefer to doze off beside you without any worries. The best way to navigate these challenges is through open and honest communication

Differing energy levels post-sex can impact your overall sexual experience, and having a healthy discussion can help you and your partner identify a way forward. To start, choose a calm, relaxed moment outside the bedroom when both partners are comfortable and receptive to having a discussion. Express your feelings honestly and use "I" statements (like "I feel..." or "I've noticed...")  to focus the conversation on your experiences and feelings and avoid laying blame.  

Remember, the goal of this conversation is to address the issue of tiredness while fostering an emotional connection with your partner. Approach the topic with empathy, respect, and a willingness to find mutual ground. 

Explore your sexuality with Quinn 

Whether you feel sleepy or energized after sex, Quinn's audio erotica is the perfect way to connect with your partner. Explore diverse fetishes and fantasies to achieve arousal and orgasm, all thanks to Quinn's ethical sexual content from skilled creators. 

Quinn is an audio erotica app created by women for everyone. Our erotic audio stories and playlists cater to couples' authentic sexual needs and solo sessions alike. For guidance, tips, and tricks on topics like performance anxiety, sex toys, and more, visit our blog

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