Breaking the cycle of being too tired for sex

tired for sex

There probably isn’t a one of us who hasn’t uttered the words, “not tonight, I’m too tired.”  This is perfectly normal as none of us are or can expect to be sexual dynamos night after night.  But, if this phrase begins to define your sex life (or lack thereof) one too many nights in a row, it could spell serious intimacy consequences in your relationship.

Think back to the beginning of your relationship.  Most likely sex was exciting, fun, and spirited.  A drop in sexual enthusiasm happens in all relationships but what you don’t want to see is a downward free-fall spiral threatening the life of your sex life.

What are the causes of crawling into bed and pulling up the covers with thoughts of sleep rather than thoughts of sex? Hectic schedules and always on the go can be some reasons for a drop in sex drive.  But there can be other reasons that are zapping your energy for having a romp in the hay.  They can be things that can and do affect all of us, but we need to recognize what they are and how to change that.

  • Keep sex exciting

If sex has become the same old, same old, then you may be finding it boring.  However, maybe sex is boring because life in general has become boring for you. To light the sexual fires to once again blaze brightly, become passionate about a hobby or anything you find fascinating.  That spark of interest in another area of your life can often carry over into the bedroom.

  • Address any issues of depression

Feelings of sadness or hopelessness due to depression can result in sleep loss or sleep deprivation spilling over into lack of energy or desire for sex.  To improve your sex life, you have to first seek out a therapist to talk about your depression.  Treatment may include medication and finding ways to cope with the feelings associated with depression.

  • Keep pressure to perform to a minimum

Whether it’s one partner or the other, if one wants sex practically every night while the other is feeling pressured all the time to give in, this can backfire by them turning their back on you once in bed and using the excuse of being “too tired.” In this case, ease up on pressuring for sex and instead just try cuddling.  If there is no pressure or expectations involved many times will lead naturally to sex.  Even if it doesn’t, all of the hugging and touching releases enormous amounts of the love hormone oxytocin making you feel happy and more likely in the mood.

  • Avoid too much screen time

We know we should limit our children on “screen time” – TV, computers, cell phones, and laptops.  Adults are the same way.  If the hours before bedtime are spent staring at a screen for extended lengths of time, this can lead to drowsiness shutting down any form of sex once in bed.  To combat this, unplug at least one hour before bedtime.  Turn off the TV, shut down the computer and instead sit together on the couch cuddling and talking before heading to the bedroom.  That can often be the catalyst igniting the sexual spark preventing feelings of being too tired.

  • Communicate more effectively

If the sparks flying between you and your partner are due to anger, resentment, or hurt feelings, you can forget about sex that night.  By the time you get into bed together, both of you will be too tired and emotional to even think of wanting intimacy.  If differences are too hard to work out on your own, seek out help with a marriage therapist to tackle the issues and reboot your sex life.

  • Make time to destress

When every hour of the day is filled with other obligations like your job, paying bills, cleaning house or tending to children, you may be so overstressed and overscheduled you simply have no time or energy to fit in sex.  But if you want to maintain a healthy and loving relationship with your spouse, something else will have to give.  Figure out what is absolutely necessary to do and what can wait.  Sex is too important to a relationship to be too exhausted to never make time for it.

  • Address hormonal imbalances with your doctor

Never forget how important hormones are.  Once they get out of whack, watch out.  Men who are lacking testosterone which notice a drop in their libido while women who are going through menopause, may notice more tiredness and just wanting to get a good night’s sleep once their head hits the pillow.  Men should talk to a urologist while women should talk to a gynecologist to obtain blood work checking on their hormone functioning.  If a hormonal imbalance is the problem that can usually be easily fixed resulting in more stamina and energy for sex.

  • Allow time for adequate sleep

Adequate sleep is necessary for all of us and if sleep deprivation has become common night after night, you will not have the interest or staying power to stay awake to even think about sex.  First figure out what is causing you to lose sleep.  Is it sleep apnea, anxiety, worry?  Addressing the problem keeping you from getting sleep can be life-changing including changing your vitality for sex.


Breaking the cycle of being too tired for sex
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Dr. David Samadi

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Dr. David Samadi