Is Sleep Apnea Ruining Your Sex Life?
If men have been reluctant to seek treatment for their sleep apnea, perhaps this will provide some motivation: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has been linked to erectile dysfunction (ED) in a number of studies, as well as the 2011 Sleep In America study released in March by the National Sleep Foundation. In the April 28th, 2001 Issue of Men’s Health, MSSC’s co-director, Dr. Eric Cohen was interviewed to get his insights into why ED is such a prevalent problem among sleep apnea sufferers.
The Men’s Health Issue cites a number of studies performed in recent years that show that patients with OSA have a high rate of erectile dysfunction. The reports conclude that since airflow through upper airway is interrupted numerous times during sleep because of OSA, the events cause intermittent hypoxia which leads to ED. Even snoring that is not associated with sleep apnea can wreak havoc on a couple’s sex life.
Here is a portion of the interview with Dr. Cohen, “Sleep Your Way to Better Sex,” written by Leigh Remizowski and published by Men’s Health Today’s News, April 28, 2011:
Your snoring may be a running joke between you and your partner, but experts say that all too often, sleep problems can take a big toll on intimacy.
In fact, 61 percent of adults report that sleepiness affects their sex lives, according to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2011 Sleep In America study. “There are a lot of sexual issues that arise because people aren’t as well-rested as they should be,” said Eric Cohen, M.D., of Eos Sleep — and they’re not limited to those times you’re just too tired to do it.
Here are two issues that don’t only squelch your sex life, but also can have serious health repercussions.
A 2009 study by German researchers found that 69 percent of patients with sleep apnea had problems getting an erection, having an orgasm, and experiencing overall sexual satisfaction.
Because people with sleep apnea stop breathing during their sleep, they don’t get as much oxygen to their bodies. These episodes of oxygen deficiency — also known as chronic intermittent hypoxia—can lead to erectile dysfunction by reducing the body’s production of nitric oxide, a chemical that is integral to having an erection, researchers from the University of Louisville found.
Read A Fit Man’s Last Gasp to learn the signs of this disorder that’s strangling men in their sleep.
Heavy snorers are more than two times more likely to be dissatisfied with their sex lives, according to research from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “Snoring alone can separate people and add distance—physical, sexual and literal distance,” Cohen said. Example: Shuffling off to separate beds because of snoring, a major reason clients come to see Cohen. (Related from MensHealth.com: Should You Sleep in Separate Beds?)
Read the Full Article from Men’s Health.
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