I’ve only ever turned down sex once. Up until that memorable moment, I never understood why people in loving relationships would rather roll over than sexually connect ... until I found myself doing the same. For once, I was too tired for any action. Sleep beckoned and it was so much more enticing than anything erotic.

Sound familiar? With “I’m too tired” as one of the most popular reasons people give for not having sex, it’s likely that you can relate. Millions of lovers everywhere prefer shut-eye to sex these days. So how can you recharge your energy levels so that you’re up for a regular roll in the hay?

There are tons of books out there on reigniting your sex life. So when A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex came my way, I didn’t expect to be impressed. But author Laurie B. Mintz does a great job tackling the causes for exhaustion while providing realistic, positive tips on how to reclaim sexual desire and an active sex life.

Based on both her personal and professional experiences, Mintz’s suggestions include:

Get a good night’s sleep.

Yes, the purpose of this article is to encourage sex over sleep. But getting your zzzz’s doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re well rested. People who suffer from insomnia or who cannot stay asleep aren’t as interested in sex. Instead, any energy they have is left to battle the physical and psychological consequences of poor sleep.

To get a good night’s sleep, talk to your doctor about any medications that may be affecting your sleep cycle. Evaluate your lifestyle for any substances associated with sleep disturbances, like caffeine or alcohol. Reconsider your sleeping arrangements if you have a partner who snores. Basically, take on anything that’s potentially impeding your ability to sleep well.

Reduce your level of stress.

It’s no surprise that being stressed doesn’t make for easy arousal. To get your stress under control, allow yourself to focus regularly only on yourself, instead of always caring for others. Furthermore, be kind to yourself, since pushing your body to the limit does you no good.

This is whether you’re dehydrated (including consuming too much caffeine), malnourished (as in not eating the right foods) or not restoring yourself. Make self-care a priority, replenishing your energy with pampering, exercise, healthy meals, and a time-out from all your daily demands.

Feel better.

People who feel lousy don’t feel sexy. Addictions, depression, hormonal issues, thyroid problems and arthritis are among a host of conditions that can seriously affect your sexual desire and energy levels.

So be sure to talk to your doctor about any health-related issues that are impacting your sex drive and desire for sleep. Make sure that you’re being evaluated holistically and that your doctor is being attentive to your needs and concerns. Ask questions, especially as far as how a health issue, traumatic event or medication may be affecting your sex life.

Start liking your partner again.

It’s practically unheard of for lovers not to butt heads from time to time. But for some couples, anger is chronic and this is incredibly draining. Sure, in some cases, this type of emotional intensity can make for passion via make-up sex. But in the long run, loathing and resenting each other do nothing for your sex life.

To get past any anger and hurt, couples need to start communicating effectively. They need to recognize patterns in the way they’re relating, like that they’re not talking or that they are constantly nagging one another. They need to right their wrongs and make attempts at positive communication, like affirming the way one is feeling or giving compliments. Liking someone is fundamental to loving the lovemaking.

Become better lovers.

It smarts, but sometimes a bad lover is the cause for “I’m too tired.” While poor technique can be an issue, this matter is more about how partners are relating to one another sexually. A lover focused on his or her own pleasure and less on pleasing the other gets turned down for the dream lover found in a good slumber.

Partners need to approach the sexual experience as one of mutual pleasuring. It also helps to become more sexually informed, whether that’s learning more about a lover’s anatomy, incorporating new types of foreplay or reading a book on pleasuring.

Think positive thoughts.

Get rid of any negative thoughts that get you down about sex. Instead, think good things about your sexuality and sex, concocting your very own sex mantra. These, in and of themselves, can be energizing.

Make time for each other.

It’s a bit of a high expectation to think that you’re going to be in the mood every time you hit the sheets. Lovers need to spend quality time on a regular basis as well, and in ways that nurture their energy levels. This can be as simple as taking a leisurely walk together or picnicking. Such are enhanced with simple touch gestures like holding hands or giving hugs.

Ultimately, carving out couple time will have you more interested in each other than sleep.

Fantasize daily.

Tap that imagination of yours on a regular basis. Allow yourself to imagine all sorts of scenes, including past sexual experiences. While you do this, flex your pelvic floor muscles for added effect. Doing this before bed can actually get you piqued enough for a different sort of lights-out action. Plus, when you imagine yourself having sex, you just might end up doing it!

Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."

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