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Sleep Deprived, Sex Deprived

Laura Berman, PhD

Too fatigued for sex? Whether it’s an ongoing problem, or something that has just occurred recently, it can take a toll on your sex life and your relationship as well.

Here are seven things you can do to protect yourself from sexual fatigue:

Identify the Problem

It’s normal to be too tired for sex every now and then but if you (or your partner) never seem to have the energy to connect physically, try and find out what be happening. Has your workload increased or your diet changed? Are you suffering from an illness or have you begun a new medication? Keep track of your symptoms and then talk to your doctor about what is going on.

Reassess Your Sleep Schedule

Catching up on sleep during the weekend after getting up early all week may seem like a treat, but it’s only going to negatively impact your sleep pattern when Sunday night rolls around. Practice good sleep hygiene by getting up and going to bed around the same time every night. (It doesn’t have to be exact moment, of course, but give or take an hour or so to promote the best sleep possible.)

Rethink Your Sex Schedule

Many people complain that they are too tired for sex, but when they look at the timing they realize that’s because they leave sex until 11 p.m. at night, when they are already likely to be exhausted. Instead, rethink when you have sex: Meet your partner for a mid-afternoon rendezvous or have sex before you leave for work in the morning. You might be surprised at how much more energy and desire you have.

Entertain More Sexual Thoughts

If you want to be in the mood to have sex, you have to stay connected to your sexuality. You need to be sexually inspired! You can’t go from worrying about work to being in the mood for sex in 60 seconds or less. Spend time connecting with your partner before sexual intimacy. This will help fan the flames and also take pressure off your expectation to be “ready” right away.


It sounds counter-intuitive but getting up early to exercise can actually give you more energy during the day, and it will help you to sleep more soundly at night. Don’t exercise right before bed — it will throw off your sleep.

Examine Your Diet

A diet that is heavy in refined carbs and processed foods will leave you feeling lethargic and over-tired. Not to mention, if you rely too heavily on caffeine or sugar, you will likely experience an energy crash at some point that will leave you even more tired than ever before. Limit your caffeine intake to one to two cups of coffee a day, and try sticking to caffeine free tea or water the rest of the day.

Don’t Eat Two Hours Before Bed

Many people nosh before they hit the sheets, but it can interfere with your sleep. If you can’t resist the cravings, try having a banana (the potassium will help you to fall asleep and stay asleep).

Lastly, don’t forget to make time to enjoy one-on-one time with your partner. If you aren’t making time for your relationship and your romance, you will be less likely to feel in the mood — regardless of how well-rested you are.

Last Updated: 11/16/12. By Laura Berman, PhD
Copyright © 2015 Everyday Health Media, LLC

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