What It Really Means When You Get Tired After Sex

It may simply be because of your location and the time — usually the bed, at night — but wanting to sleep after sex is common. While men may typically be thought of as the ones who roll right over and immediately start snoring, women may also be drawn to dreamland. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sex and sleep go hand in hand: Sex helps you sleep, while more (or better) sleep boosts your sex drive. Here are the reasons why sleep and sex are such close bedmates.

Sex can be physically tiring. Even for the fittest among us, sex can take a physical toll on the body. During sex, both blood pressure and blood flow increase, and afterward there's a feeling of being spent, just like after any other sport, sex therapist Dr. Jane Greer explained to Insider. This is especially true if one partner is putting in more physical effort during intercourse.

Sex can also be emotionally tiring. Being intimate with a trusted partner involves both intense excitement and connection as well as a feeling of being vulnerable — all of which can be emotionally draining and promote sleep, per Insider. For those who are stressed before sex, an orgasm comes as a tremendous release, and they may feel even more exhausted.

Your brain may be telling you to sleep — or not

Sex also releases relaxing brain chemicals. While your body is up to sexy things, your brain is dabbling in chemistry. After orgasm, the brain releases a potent torrent of sleep-inducing hormones, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and vasopressin, sexologist Dr. Jess O'Reilly explained to Bustle. Then there's the concurrent release of oxytocin, the "cuddle hormone," which makes you feel relaxed and calm, and melatonin, the hormone that regulates the body clock. 

In men, the release of prolactin, which is linked to a feeling of sexual satisfaction, also influences recovery time. Prolactin levels are higher during sleep, so it's probable that its release post-ejaculation causes men to feel drowsy (via LiveScience). Some neurochemicals are not released until after orgasm, so if you didn't reach orgasm, it can make a difference in how sleepy you feel after sex.

Are you ready to take on the world post-nookie instead of taking a snooze? That's not uncommon either. Some women are more sensitive to the adrenaline rush, and after a powerful orgasm, they may be energized. Overall, being sexually satisfied can relieve stress, help you feel closer to your partner, and make you more content, which, in turn, leads to better sleep. And when you're well-rested? You're likely to have a greater desire for sex. One study showed that a one-hour increase in sleep length corresponded to a 14 percent increase in the odds of having sex with a partner the next day. It seems sex and sleep coexist very happily together.