There’s a common nighttime occurrence happening in bedrooms around the world: After sex, men fall into a deep sleep, while women everywhere lay awake silently cursing their snoozing partner’s name.
‘A man’s body chemistry changes after orgasm,” says medical experts, adding ‘the biochemical prolactin is released, physically altering his body and making him very tired.’ In contrast, women may not orgasm every time they have sex. So, after rocking your lover’s world, you may still be semi-aroused and have the energy to talk about love and life while he’s drifting off to dreamland.
Some romance authors offer an additional biological explanation: ‘It is thought that exertion during sex and after climax depletes the muscles of energy-producing glycogen. This leaves men feeling sleepy. Since men have more muscle mass than women, men become more tired after sex.’ There is little direct evidence to explain men falling asleep, though, after orgasm, the chemicals oxytocin, prolactin, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) and endorphins all contribute to that ‘roll over and snore’ feeling.
He’s lost that spiritual feeling
Tantric sex focuses on the enlightening, spiritual aspects of sex. The merging of two bodies is a sacred act that increases awareness by channeling energy and lifting the couple to a different plane. Sex’and orgasm’ is the pinnacle of spiritual awareness, and represents the unification of male and female energy. Experts suggest that since a man’s orgasm is external, it causes the loss of that energy (through ejaculation). In contrast, a woman’s orgasm is an internal explosion of energy. Since she doesn’t experience that same outward loss of energy, she’s ready to cuddle for hours.
He’s just not that into talking
A psychologist specializing in sex therapy, says, ‘Women like to ‘process’ their experiences, hence the desire to talk after sex.’ Communication tends to be easier and more natural for women. If a man isn’t a great communicator at the best of times, he’ll be even less likely to engage in a heart-to-heart when he’s flat on his back.
According to sex therapists, cuddling after sex helps to reinforce intimacy, attachment and an overall sense of connection and commitment. So, finding ways to bond after sex can strengthen your whole relationship.
3 ways to keep awake
To increase the cuddles after sex, initiate a love fest before eating breakfast, lunch or dinner (he may be less likely to fall asleep if he’s hungry). Then, bond over scrambled eggs or a candlelit meal. Do the wild thing early in the evening, such as before his favourite TV show. Avoid having sex late at night when you’re tired.
Both men and women usually feel relaxed, warm, content and sleepy’ after sex. One of our sex experts offers a slightly different perspective: ‘Not all men fall asleep after sex. Some do enjoy cuddling or talking afterwards.’ Sometimes it’s the female partner who falls asleep first. If the man does keep marching off to the land of nod every time you have sex, remember that sleepiness doesn’t necessarily mean your relationship isn’t strong or close or that he doesn’t love his partner. On the contrary, it may actually prove just how happy and satisfied he is.
The “feel-good” hormone oxytocin also surges during sex, which can vanish any stressful thoughts from a man’s mind, making it easier to relax and fall asleep afterward. And if you have sex with the lights out, you’ll signal to your body’s internal clock that it’s time for bed. When that happens, the hormone melatonin ignites your sleep cycle.