Erectile Dysfunction and Sleep Apnea

In the United States alone, 22 million people suffer from sleep apnea–a statistic so seroius that the CDC has called sleep disorders a “public health epidemic“. At the same time, an estimated 18 million American men struggle with erectile dysfunction. Now, the medical community is coming to realize is that the prevalence of these two conditions might not be entirely a coincidence. In fact, research shows that the chronic exhaustion caused by sleep disorders could be a cause of erectile dysfunction.

How Sleep Apnea Hurts in the Bedroom

The Ups

Testosterone is an extremely important chemical that regulates sexual development. Testosterone in men doesn’t only affect male sexual aggressiveness and function–it also affects bone health, muscle mass and mood. You may be surprised to know that this hormone is also produced in women, in lesser levels. An appropriate testosterone level in both men and women is necessary for optimal health. 

Testosterone is produced at night, reaching a high in the morning. This is why many couples wake up ready to rock.

The Downs

People with erectile dysfunction are more than twice than likely as their normal counterparts to have sleep apnea (source). So what’s the connection? 

Given that the hormone is produced at night, it’s easy to see how poor sleep can reduce testosterone production. In fact, a study conducted at the University of Chicago showed that even in young men, if their sleep period was cut down to only five hours, their testosterone levels decreased by 10 to 15%. When you consider that testosterone levels decline sharply with age, it’s easy to see how spotty slumber can lead to a bigger host of problems in the bedroom. 

However, this isn’t the only reason that bad sleep is damaging to sexual function. Oxygen deprivation that occurs during sleep apnea is linked to heart attacks, lung disorders and brain problems like lack of concentration. Impotence isn’t just a cause of hormone fluctuations caused by upset circadian rhythms–it’s a physical result of the strain that occurs in the body when it doesn’t get the oxygen it needs. 

Overall, poor sleep has been strongly linked to infertility in both men and women. Studies show that couples who don’t sleep well have trouble conceiving, and that people with sleep disorders have decreased libido. The verdict is clear: the best way to be better in bed is to hit the sack! 

Can’t Get No Satisfaction…Or Can You?

If sleep apnea is causing problems with impotence and other health conditions, luckily, there’s a solution. Having a sleep study will test for sleep disorders and determine if you would benefit from treatment. In that case, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) treatment can almost completely reverse the detrimental health effects of sleep apnea. 

If you are ready to see a return of intimacy, good moods and increased muscle strength and mass, it’s time to consider a sleep study. A Home Sleep Test will even let you check for sleep disorders from the comfort from your own bed.

Request a sleep study

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  2. Eddie Reply

    This was such an interesting read. I knew that some sleep disorder can have an impact on sexual health, but didn’t realize sleep apnea could be a potential cause behind ED. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Todd Petersson Reply

    I will never use CPAP! We need a real solution, not enriching companies like Phillips and ResMed. The problem lies in the brain, not the throat — let’s get going, science!

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    Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking.

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