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Too tired for sex? 5 tricks to boost your appetite

From Ian Kerner, Ph.D., sex therapist, TODAY contributor I don't care what anybody says, including my wife, but sleep is better than sex. I do it seven days a week, I can last all night, and I don't have to cuddle. Could anything be hotter than sleep? Okay, of course I'm kidding -- well sort of. With a 6-year old son who's more scared of the monsters in the night than the monster I can be in t

From Ian Kerner, Ph.D., sex therapist, TODAY contributor I don't care what anybody says, including my wife, but sleep is better than sex. I do it seven days a week, I can last all night, and I don't have to cuddle. Could anything be hotter than sleep? Okay, of course I'm kidding -- well sort of. With a 6-year old son who's more scared of the monsters in the night than the monster I can be in the morning when daddy hasn't gotten his full four hours, "sleepus-interruptus" is a regular occurrence. As a sex therapist, I'm generally not too surprised when a bunch of new stats and studies about the sorry state of American sex lives hits my desk, but not too long ago TODAY conducted a poll in conjunction with iVillage.com about how long some people have gone without sex, and the results were startling: 30 percent said a few months, 24 percent said a few years, 22 percent said about a year! Some surveys estimate that nearly 50 million Americans are stuck in a rut, and I bet if you asked a bunch of those people what's going on they'd say that they're just too tired to have sex. And that's especially true of parents. (Dads included! One day I'll write a post about the taboo topic of low-male desire, but for now let's just focus on overall low-parent desire.) But the truth is sex is rejuvenating. Sex relieves stress, helps with sleep, releases feel-good endorphins and boosts immunity. (It also helps defend against other tiresome issues like infidelity and porn abuse.) In fact so essential is sex to not feeling tired, I'd like to offer the following tips for getting some get up and go when it comes to getting it on: Just do it! Sex begets sex and studies show that when you stop having sex your testosterone levels go down and you lose interest in sex. So my suggestion, "Try it, you'll like it." It's easy to forget how much fun sex can be, and just having sex once a week will put you back in a regular groove. Exercise and eat right. Your sexual health is connected to your overall health, and it's no surprise that people who have sex more frequently are also healthier overall. If you're too tired for sex, it probably means you're too tired in other areas too, and that you're not taking care of yourself as much as you should be. Minimize stress. Not only does stress release cortisol, which inhibits testosterone, but studies have also shown that for a woman to want to have sex (and to enjoy it) parts of the female brain associated with monitoring outside stress need to deactivate. So figure out what's stressing you out and put together a plan with your partner to deal with it. Turn off (your computers), so you have some time to tune in and turn on. When you look at all the time that gets sucked up by Facebook, surfing the Web and e-mail, it's no wonder you're plopping into bed exhausted and spent. Just eliminating "digital digressions" will give you more time to have more sex. Do it in the morning. Come on folks, that's what Saturday morning cartoons are there for! Any other ideas for getting the get up and go to get it on? Please share! Watch Ian Kerner on TODAY: Video: Too tired for sex? How to change that