So, I got this question yesterday from our anonymous Have A Question page:
Last night my husband decided to finish inside me and since I was no where near orgasm at the time, we thought I should be finished with toys. Anyway, my orgasm wasn’t immediate, although it didn’t take forever either, but there was enough time for him to fall asleep and even start snoring while he was supposed to be playing with me with a toy. Should I feel upset and hurt (I do) or should I just let it go based on the fact that he already came so that is probably why he feel asleep? He did apologize but I don’t think he realizes how upsetting this was.
Upon reading it, I realized I don’t think I’ve ever posted about men falling asleep after sex. So, here’s my chance, while answering this reader’s question.
Why do men get sleepy after sex?
It’s not just men really. A lot of women get sleepy right after sex, particularly after orgasm. But, in men it seems to be more pronounced phenomenon. So, why it that people get sleepy after sex?
Truth is, we don’t know for sure, but there are a lot of theories floating around:
- Sex usually happens at night, before sleep, and so the brain naturally thinks “sex is done, sleep comes next”. Sort of a Pavlovian response.
- In order to have an orgasm, your brain has to let go of fear and anxiety, since cortisol (the hormone that is released when you are stressed) offsets dopamine (which is needed for orgasm). So, when you orgasm, you feel relaxed, and you’re tired, so naturally you want to sleep.
- When men orgasm, they release a lot of chemicals into the brain: oxytocin, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, vasopressin, nitric oxide and prolactin to name a few. Prolactin in particular, besides being responsible for male refractory periods (the time before you can have an erection again), seems to also make people sleepy. If you inject an animal with prolactin, it immediately becomes tired.
- Oxytocin and Vasopressin (oxytocin makes you feel emotionally bonded and vasopressin makes you want to protect your loved ones) are also associate with sleep, and usually are released with melatonin, which regulates our sleep cycles.
So, there’s a lot going on there.
Should you be upset that your husband fell asleep?
Personally, I don’t see any benefit to being upset, and only downsides to it. That said, I think it’s a bit inconsiderate of your husband to fall asleep, but I’ve had to shake my head to stay away in similar situations many a time. It takes a lot of will power to stay focused on getting your wife an orgasm post-sex when your eyes keep crossing and everything is going blurry because your brain is trying to shutdown on you. In short, you may not realize just how strong the urge to sleep is, so be understanding. But, I think it’s okay to share that you felt a bit abandoned when he fell asleep during sex. Just realize that it’s not that you aren’t interesting or exciting enough to stay awake for. It’s quite possible that he simply couldn’t stay conscious. Take it as a compliment that he feels safe and secure near you, then tell him not to do it again 🙂
So, readers, let me hear from you: Have you had this happen to you, either fallen asleep before you were done sex, or had your spouse fall asleep?