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The Truth About Men’s Behavior After Sex

Update Date: Feb 25, 2017 08:00 AM EST

Men's behavior after sex depends on certain conditions. Experts try to explain about the effects of hormones and sleep apnea post coitus.

Men's rolling over on their side after sex is a hormonal response according to Dr Raj Dasgupta, professor of pulmonary and sleep medicine at the University of Southern California, and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. In addition, the condition under which couples have sex is related to whether men or women get sleepy after sex. This is similar to their postcoital hormonal differences.

Most couples have sex at night in a cool, quiet room in a comfortable bed which is a perfect environment for sleeping. Males who have undiagnosed sleep apnea are also more tired after sex than the average person. Sleep apnea is a condition that is marked by shallow breathing that can affect the quality of sleep and can even lead to drowsiness and fatigue.

The Cleveland Clinic estimates that nearly 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Since more men over age 40 years old are affected, it is expected then that more men roll over to their side after sex. However, in a study conducted by Daniel Kruger and Susan Hughes of University of Michigan, they found out that a woman is as likely as a man to fall asleep after sex.

Not much research has been done about the hormonal interactions after sex in humans. However, men have more hormone prolactin secretion after sex that leads to relative refractory period. That specific stage is associated to animal's sleepiness after sex.

Moreover, the stress hormone cortisol decreases, while oxytocin, the "feel good" hormone increase, which promotes relaxation. A dark room also increases melatonin hormone which can promote sleep.

Ian Kerner, a licensed psychotherapist and sex counsellor, said that men's behaviour after sex is different from women simply because of the sexual response cycle. When man ejaculates, he returns to pre-aroused state and the neurochemical firework produces relaxation and sleepiness. 

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