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Sleep or Sex

This is an ongoing decision/issue for me and my husband, and I think we are not alone. What to do with the exhaustion level that we often bring into our intimate interactions is a significant problem for a growing population. Giving up sex for sleep is a good idea when you are just too tired to imagine sex. But if this becomes the routine, then we lose the powerful source of vitality that comes with a meaningful intimate encounter.


Sexual energy that is stored in the body is a force that can be used to revitalize even the most exhausted among us. How many times have you been cajoled into intimacy when you thought you were too tired, only to find yourself feeling better than you had in days afterward. I know this is true for myself, but lately have been so tired that I could hardly remember that I had energy stored anywhere.

How then do we find a way to enjoy an intimate life given the general level of exhaustion that we live in? Here are a few ideas that help me, but honestly I would be grateful for any additional good ideas here because the problem is a rampant one.

1. Make a date when you are not tired. Morning coffee break conversation, quick check in at lunch time…agree that tonight is the night and start thinking ahead. Try to remember how good you felt last time…

2. As you begin to get tired in the evening, remind each other about the hour and your date. If you can shut the bedroom door even by 10pm the chances that you might have a great time and reasonable amount of sleep is pretty good.

3. Set the mood early enough that you can actually feel something. A little soft music, candlelight and scent can all work to wake up a limbic response in your brain, which is the gateway to an intimate encounter.

4. Prioritize sex with the person you love as highly as basic hygiene. You wouldn’t go a week with out a shower… Even if the main event isn’t a daily experience, the compassion and interest you show your partner daily leaves room for this to happen.

5. Be nice and understanding about the need to sleep. Sometimes that one has to win out.