Should I be upset if my spouse falls asleep during sex?

Jay Dee

Should I be upset if my spouse falls asleep during sex?

Jun 30, 2016

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

Anonymous Question

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:

  1. Sex usually happens at night, before sleep, and so the brain naturally thinks “sex is done, sleep comes next”.  Sort of a Pavlovian response.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?

Looking for help?

15 thoughts on “Should I be upset if my spouse falls asleep during sex?”

  1. Never to tired says:

    I never get sleepy after sex! I just want keep going and/or still rub and caress my wife. I am yet to be to tired to meet her needs. Yes I am the high sex drive spouse in our relationship.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Poor man’s sleep pill

  3. Kay says:

    I feel like this situation is understandable but yes, frustrating. Based on the title I thought he fell asleep during the actual act, like she was on top and he started snoring. Ha!

    Falling asleep instantly after sex is an issue that my hubby and I have had to compromise on. By the time I go to the bathroom after sex, he is already snoring when I get back, and I personally need some time with him during the “afterglow” because I feel extremely vulnerable after sex, so his falling asleep is hurtful even though I understand it is not intentional. So now I ask that he sits up after sex so he will stay awake, then he puts his arms around me and kisses me for a minute after I get back, and then we lay down together with his arm around my waist. That way I feel safe and secure even though he falls asleep in less than 30 seconds. Ha.

  4. libl says:

    “Honey, I felt a bit abandoned when you fell asleep before I had my orgasm. Could we do a do-over tonight?”

  5. JaxStyle says:

    Yes, I can completely relate to this situation. When my husband and I were more newly married (Going on 5 years now. Woohoo!!) he would often fall asleep after he orgasmed. The situation would be as you described: he would orgasm first and then it would be my turn and he’d fall asleep while trying to help me orgasm. At that time I really struggled to orgasm at all so him falling while trying to help me finish on top of my already struggling to orgasm really just exacerbated things hugely. So, after that scenario happened a few times (Him falling asleep and be being super offended by it) my husband just made a rule that I would always orgasm first and that solved that problem. 🙂

  6. Keelie Reason says:

    Oh man, this is such a difficult thing. I can’t imagine being so tired that I would fall asleep trying to please my husband. Apparently, laying down to please his wife is not a good idea. I don’t think that I’ve ever wanted to fall asleep during sex. I’ve been tired, but by being active, it keeps me awake for sure. Maybe go with a different position in the future that gets both moving more.

  7. Mel says:

    Yes my husband has fallen asleep several times during sex. Before either of us orgasmed. Have had him fall asleep while giving as well as receiving oral sex. Is there an explanation for that?

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Exhaustion? Thyroid issues? Narcolepsy? Alcohol? Drugs? Lots of potential explanations.

  8. John says:

    Opposite thing happened to me, but even worse. I was having sex with my wife and she falls asleep during sex. Should I feel bad? I do, although should I just get over it?

  9. Arvise Knight says:

    My husband sent me a text ealier today and said I was going to get some loving and oral sex and also said to shave. I did this only for him to fall asleep while giving me oral sex. Im am upset. Now I have to go to sleep horny

  10. Nedra Gee says:

    I fall asleep pretty much everytime during sex.. he leaves alot and I know he’s intimate with someone else because I can’t stay awake. What can I do to change things. We used to have awesome sex but now.. out relationship is pretty much over

    1. Jay Dee says:

      The first question I’d ask is – why are you falling asleep? If it’s because of exhaustion – can you have sex earlier in the day?

    2. Anonymous says:

      You falling asleep is not a reason for him to cheat. First, you need to explore why you’re falling asleep. Could it be medical, exhausting from daily activities especially if you have children, or the time you both are having sex? This is not an excuse to cheat.

  11. Michelle says:

    Also, I find it interesting how you acknowledged that he probably COULDN’T stay conscious, but still said “Tell him not to do it again”. I don’t think you understand the difference between “DIFFICULTY” staying awake and “IMPOSSIBILITY”. Don’t take it as a compliment OR an insult; take it as a biological occurrence that could not be controlled, and move on. There is no valid reason to remain hurt once you realize there was no choice.

  12. Michelle says:

    It isn’t “inconsiderate” at all if it was completely uncontrollable. Sometimes “shaking your head” isn’t enough. All bodies have their own limits.

Share your thoughts