01/23/2012 05:46 pm ET

Sleeping Or Cuddling After Sex? What It Might Mean For Your Relationship

Science has finally proven that pillow talk isn't just for women. However, when you fall asleep first, it may mean something different than when your male partner does.

A new study from the University of Michigan and Albright College in Pennsylvania found that nodding off first could make your partner want to cuddle even more, according to a press release published on ScienceDaily. Daniel Kruger, the study's lead author and a research fellow at the University of Michigan explained: "The more one's partner was likely to fall asleep after sex, the stronger the desire for bonding."

And get this: Of the 456 study participants, women and men were equally as likely to pass out first. The research, published in the December 2011 issue of the Journal of Social, Evolutionary and Cultural Pyschology, analyzed data from online surveys that asked participants about their post-sex sleep habits as well as their desires surrounding communication and affection. Most of the partners who didn't drop off so easily expressed a stronger penchant for cuddling and conversation after sex.

The researchers also found that being the first to fall asleep may leave your partner wanting more in the morning, but it could also mean that you're unconsciously trying to avoid a conversation relating to commitment. The researchers asserted that men may avoid these conversations because women tend to have better verbal abilities, and therefore an upper hand in discussions about the future of a relationship. "If men actively avoid commitment promises in post-coital conversation, this could increase the likelihood of women ending the relationship ... Hastening sleep onset may evade this adverse effect," wrote the researchers.

Women also tended to find sleeping with a partner after sex to be more important than men did, and were more likely to fall asleep first when going to bed with a partner without having sex. "Perhaps men stay awake longer ... making sure the woman doesn't leave them for another partner," Susan Hughes, co-author of the study, told ScienceDaily. "Men may also stay awake longer in an attempt to entice their partner into having sex." Alas, you can't always get what you want -- sometimes a woman just needs some shut-eye.