Saturday, May 31, 2008

Men go to sleep because women don’t turn into a pizza

After sex, that is.

Men go to sleep because women don’t turn into a pizza. That's what Dave Zinczenko told Arianna Huffington - which she blogs in "Less Sex, More Fat: Why You Need to Get Some Sleep". She argues against workaholism and sleep loss: less productivity, less job satisfaction, less sex, and more inches around the waist. She ends the post by saying "So do yourself a favor and go to sleep right after sex. Or before sex. Or instead of sex. Just not during sex."

(I, too, question what enough sleep is, support midday nap, want to know the best time to go up, and try to find out how to sleep more to lose weight.)

Anyway, I'm not going to share my sex life. But it's worth it to check out what Melinda Wenner has got to explain, about why guys get sleepy after sex -- as apparently perceived by many ladies.

Towards the end, there's an interesting survey result, that 48% of English men fall asleep during sex...??

Why do guys get sleepy after sex?

(published on Scienceline and She Blinded Me With Science!)
by Melinda Wenner

For many women, the correlation between sex and snoring is one of those annoying facts of life: no matter when passionate encounters occur, men always seem to fall asleep immediately afterwards. Dave Zinczenko, the author of Men, Love and Sex: The Complete User Guide For Women, explained the phenomenon to Huffington Post writer Arianna Huffington this way: “Men go to sleep because women don’t turn into a pizza.”

I doubt I am ever going to become a pizza, and I’ll never have the foresight to order one beforehand. So in lieu of a cure, a better explanation will have to do. Although women sometimes feel sleepy after sex, the phenomenon does seem more pronounced in men. What is it, then, that spirals them into the land of nod?

First, the obvious reasons for sex’s somnolent sway: the act frequently takes place at night, in a bed, and is, after all, physically exhausting (often more so for the man than the woman, although this certainly varies). So when sex is over, it’s natural for a guy to feel sleepy.

Secondly, research using positron emission tomography (PET) scans has shown that in order for a person to reach orgasm, a primary requirement is to let go of “all fear and anxiety.” Doing so also tends to be relaxing and might explain the tendency to snooze.

Then there is the biochemistry of the orgasm itself. Research shows that during ejaculation, men release a cocktail of brain chemicals, including norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, nitric oxide (NO), and the hormone prolactin. The release of prolactin is linked to the feeling of sexual satisfaction, and it also mediates the “recovery time” that men are well aware of—the time a guy must wait before “giving it another go.” Studies have also shown that men deficient in prolactin have faster recovery times.

Prolactin levels are naturally higher during sleep, and animals injected with the chemical become tired immediately. This suggests a strong link between prolactin and sleep, so it’s likely that the hormone’s release during orgasm causes men to feel sleepy.

(Side note: prolactin also explains why men are sleepier after intercourse than after masturbation. For unknown reasons, intercourse orgasms release four times more prolactin than masturbatory orgasms, according to a recent study.)

Oxytocin and vasopressin, two other chemicals released during orgasm, are also associated with sleep. Their release frequently accompanies that of melatonin, the primary hormone that regulates our body clocks. Oxytocin is also thought to reduce stress levels, which again could lead to relaxation and sleepiness.

What about the evolutionary reasons for post-sex sleepiness? This is trickier to explain. Evolutionarily speaking, a man’s primary goal is to produce as many offspring as possible, and sleeping doesn’t exactly help in his quest. But perhaps since he cannot immediately run off with another woman anyway—damn that recovery time!—re-energizing himself via sleep may be the best use of his time.

And although there is conflicting information as to whether women feel sleepy after sex, a woman often falls asleep with the man anyway (or uses it for some key cuddling time), which is good news for him: it means she is not off finding another mate. When the man wakes up and she’s still there, he just might be ready to go again.

It’s also possible that sleepiness is just a “side effect” associated with a more evolutionarily important reason for the release of oxytocin and vasopressin. In addition to being associated with sleep, both chemicals are also intimately involved in what is called “pair bonding,” the social attachment human mates commonly share. The release of these brain chemicals during orgasm heightens feelings of bonding and trust between sexual partners, which may partially explain the link between sex and emotional attachment. This bond is favorable should the couple have a baby, as cooperative child rearing maximizes the young one’s chances for survival.

The bottom line is this: there are many potential biochemical and evolutionary reasons for post-sex sleepiness, some direct and some indirect—but no one has yet pinpointed the exact causes. One thing, however, is certain: we females better get used to it, because it doesn’t look likely to change anytime soon.

I will leave frustrated American women with one final thought: if you are upset at the ubiquity of the post-sex snoring phenomenon, remember that things could be a lot worse. A recent survey of 10,000 English men revealed that 48 percent actually fall asleep during sex.

Talk about coitus interruptus!

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I suck at golf

I played golf this morning.

For someone who got introduced to golf nearly twelve years ago, I really suck at golf -- though I can always argue this morning's was my only fourth game since moving to Malaysia nearly three years ago - and my clubs are over ten years old.

I've tasted 92 strokes, though I scored 110 more often. I've gotten my birdie, only to be overwhelmed by my triple- and quadruple-bogeys.

I will be the big fan of this website (unfortunately not up today - but check out the About). All and all, I might be an average golfer!

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

2:05 hours (92%) remaining

I've already complained about the performance of my laptop battery. Last year, it was 45 minutes after being fully charged. It had become only 20 minutes in the past few months and made me too busy looking for electrical plug while traveling.

I got it replaced, finally, yesterday. It is 2:05 hours for 92% remaining, as compared 0:18 hours for 100% remaining previously.

Now, I am looking into how to better maintain the battery performance. Especially with the dock I am using at work. The Battery University, again, is helpful with some general information about battery charging. They're so good; they analogize battery to human: "Batteries behave like humans; some live to a great old age, others die early."

Here are some Q&A to maximize battery performance from cradle to grave from the Battery University for Lithium-ion batteries.

How should I prepare my new battery?
Li-ion comes partially charged. You can use the battery right away and charge it when needed.

Can I damage my battery if incorrectly prepared?
No; Li-ion is forgiving to partial and full charge. No priming is needed when new.

Should I use up all battery energy before charging?
No, it is better to recharge more often; avoid frequent full discharges.
Yes, on batteries with a fuel gauge, allow a full discharge once a month to enable reset.

Should I charge my battery partially or fully?
Does not matter. Charging in stages is acceptable. Full charge termination occurs by reading the voltage level and charge current. Charging a full battery is safe and does not cause harm.

- Should I remove the battery from the charger when full?
- Should I remove the AC when my laptop is not in use?
It does not matter. The charger automatically cuts the charge current when the battery is full. A laptop may be connected to the AC when not in use.

Should the battery be kept charged when not in use?
Best to store at 40% charge or 3.75-3.80V/cell open terminal. Cool storage is more important than state-of-charge. Do not fully deplete battery because Li-ion may turn off its protection circuit.

What should I know about chargers?
Charger should apply full charge. Avoid economy chargers that advertise one-hours charge. Fastest full-charge time: 2-3 hours.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sex education: solution or problem?

Malaysia is considering sex education in the National Service - I heard this on the radio a couple weeks ago.

clipped from
AP) Malaysia's government is worried that high school graduates may not know enough about sex.

Authorities in the conservative, Muslim-majority nation are considering teaching sex education to teenagers when they undergo national service after leaving school, Abdul Hadi Awang Kechil, director general of the National Service Department, said Wednesday.

blog it

High school graduates may not know enough about sex? Never underestimate teenagers!

The question is "what is sex education?" What is the curriculum? Will knowing more about sex drive up or down the sex activities among teenagers?

I found another article from John J. Macionis interesting.

Most schools today have sex education programs that teach the basics of sexuality. Instructors explain to young people how their bodies grow and change, how reproduction occurs, and how to avoid pregnancy by using birth control or abstaining from sex.

Half of U.S. teenage boys report having sex by the time they reach sixteen, and half of girls report doing so by seventeen. These numbers are much the same in most high-income nations; what accounts for the higher U.S. teen pregnancy rate is less use of contraceptives. "Sex ed" program, then seem to make sense. But critics point out that as the number of sex education programs has expanded, the level of teenage sexual activity has actually gone up. This trend seems to suggest that sex education may not be discouraging sex among youngsters and, maybe, that learning more about sex encourages young people to become sexually active sooner. Critics also say that it is parents who should be instructing their children about sex, since, unlike teachers, parents can also teach their beliefs about what is right and wrong.

But supporters of sex education counter that research does not support the conclusion that sex education makes young people more sexually active. More generally, they argue that it is the larger culture - one that celebrates sexuality - that encourages children to become sexually active. If this is the case, the sensible strategy is to ensure that they understand what they are doing and take reasonable precautions to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

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