Sleep apnea cuts into sleep quality for millions of Americans every year, but shut-eye isn’t the only bedroom activity disrupted by this nighttime breathing disorder. Several studies have shown how sleep apnea affects sexual health in both men and women.
It’s time to explore the connection between the two. First off, guys, you’ve got to go to the doctor. Making the decision to consult a physician is the first important step, one that unfortunately can still be a difficult one for some men. Men who are struggling with issues related to sexual function should have their sleep evaluated by their physician.
Past studies in men have shown a spike in erectile dysfunction (ED) among men who suffer from the sleep disorder, such as a 2009 study done in Germany that reported that 70 percent of men referred seeking sleep apnea treatment also suffered from ED. Treatment for sleep disorders can usually get you back into the game. The good news is that treatments for obstructive sleep apnea – SomnoDent oral devices, CPAP, weight loss, etc. — are safe and effective.
Women, like men, are also likely to find their sexual lives negatively affected by obstructive sleep apnea. Several studies have found strong correlations between obstructive sleep apnea and sexual dysfunction in women. As obstructive sleep apnea grows worse, problems with sexual function — including sensation and desire — become more serious, according to this research. The Journal of Sexual Medicine of women aged 28 to 64 found that those with sleep apnea were significantly more likely to suffer from loss of libido and sexual dysfunction.
Women are particularly at risk for un-diagnosed sleep problems, including sleep-disordered breathing. Women who are experiencing problems with sexual function should have their sleep evaluated. This works in both directions: Women who are being treated for sleep problems — particularly obstructive sleep apnea — should work with their physician to assess the potential effect of their sleep disorder on their sexual health.
Sleep apnea is characterized by disruptions in breathing during sleep that lead to lower oxygen levels and repeated waking throughout the night. Sleep experts believe that the link may be due to the body’s levels of the sex hormone testosterone, which naturally rise while we sleep. Because sleep apnea causes repeated nighttime waking, this chronic sleep deprivation may inhibit the body’s ability to produce and process testosterone, which is partially responsible for libido in men and women.
If you are interested in finding a SomnoMed preferred dentist in your area, contact us. Ask your physician or dentist for more information on treating your snoring or mild to moderate sleep apnea with SomnoDent devices.