Too Sleepy for Sex?

Ask yourself these four questions to stop sleepiness from stealing your sex life.

From the WebMD Archives

Too tired for sex? Join the club. Up to 50% of U.S. adults skip or avoid sex because they're too tired, recent polls show.

It’s no wonder. The workday can extend long into the night, many couples have children and pets to tend to, and everyone has diversions that tempt their attention away from their partners -- and from sleep.

"We’re a 24/7 society. We're burning the candle at both ends -- most of us -- so we are tired," says William Kohler, MD, director of Florida Sleep Medicine outside of Tampa. "The lack of sleep decreases our motivation to do various things."

Whatever the reasons we're dragging so much, sleepiness can kill desire. How can you get it back? Here are four questions to ask yourself to get back into the groove.

Question No. 1: Is My Lifestyle Zapping My Energy?

A good night's sleep every night -- more so than exercise and a healthy diet -- keeps our sexual engines humming, says Barry McCarthy, PhD, a Washington, D.C. sex therapist.

"Healthy people who have good sleep patterns are going to be more open to being sexual," McCarthy tells WebMD. Unfortunately, many Americans don't and aren't, he says.

"They don’t shut down an hour before getting ready for sleep. They’re on email, returning phone calls, doing projects, fighting with their kids. The idea of healthy sleep behaviors is not well established in our culture," McCarthy says.

Instead, make the last hour or so before bed a relaxing transition time. "If you’re going to sleep at 11, shut down activities at 10:15," McCarthy says. That means turning off the TV, wrapping up the day's hustle and bustle, and unwinding. In short, give yourself some chill-out time before you head to bed. That may mean letting some things wait until tomorrow. If you wait until everything is done, you'll cheat yourself out of good sleep.

Question No 2: Is This Really About Being Sleepy?

Dennis Sugrue, PhD, a certified sex therapist in Bloomfield, Mich., says fatigue can become a "red herring" for a lack of interest in sex.