How Sleep Apnea Affects Sex
Posted: June 17, 2022
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that can have huge impacts on your life. Untreated sleep apnea can be deadly and also increase the risk for other health conditions, like heart disease and diabetes. However, one thing that many people don’t talk about is how detrimental sleep apnea can be for your sex life. A healthy sex life is also important for your overall quality of life and health. It also plays an invaluable role in your romantic relationships. Therefore, the sexual side effects of sleep apnea can have serious implications for your life. Let’s talk about how sleep apnea affects sex and what you can do to improve both your sleep and your sex life.
Signs You Have Sleep Apnea
If you think you have sleep apnea, it’s important to talk to our providers about your symptoms. Unlike many other clinics, we help with every step of your sleep apnea treatment, from testing for sleep apnea to providing your CPAP device and remote monitoring your treatment for sleep optimization. Getting a better night’s sleep is as simple as making an appointment at one of our locations or purchasing a home sleep test to be delivered to your doorstep.
However, you might be wondering how you know if you have sleep apnea. There are many symptoms to look for, including:
- Loud snoring
- Morning headaches
- Daytime fatigue
- Waking up choking or gasping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Waking with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Bed partners noticing you stop breathing as you sleep
There are also several risk factors that can increase the likelihood that you will develop sleep apnea. The first is being a man. Men are significantly more likely to have sleep apnea than women. In addition, if you’re 50 years old or older, this also increases your risk. Having a larger neck circumference (with a shirt collar size of 17 inches or larger) or a BMI over 35 kg/m2 are also risk factors for sleep apnea. If you have these symptoms or risk factors, make an appointment to talk to our doctors about your sleep health.
How Sleep Apnea Negatively Impacts Your Sex Life
Sleep apnea can cause many issues for your health and everyday life. We’ve mentioned that sleep apnea can increase your risk for heart disease and diabetes. It may also increase the risk for work and car accidents. It may leave you feeling unrested and irritable or make it difficult to concentrate. However, it’s also important to understand the sexual side effects of sleep apnea. There are many ways that sleep apnea can affect sex, such as:
Sleep Apnea Causes Fatigue
One of the most disruptive symptoms of sleep apnea is daytime sleepiness. Sleep apnea causes you to wake up multiple times a night to breathe normally. This leads to sleep fragmentation, poor REM sleep, and overall poor sleep quality. In turn, this can negatively affect your sex life. Fatigue and low energy levels can affect every aspect of your life. It can make you more irritable, which can have a huge negative effect on your relationship. Also, it can affect your sexual desire when you’re tired all the time. So, this is one way that sleep apnea may affect your sex life.
Untreated OSA can Lead to Erectile Dysfunction
Another thing it’s important to note is that sleep apnea can cause erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction, also known as ED, is where you are unable to achieve or maintain an erection hard enough for sex. One thing many people don’t know is that sleep apnea can increase your risk for erectile dysfunction. Some studies have found as many as 70% of men with sleep apnea have erectile dysfunction.
Sleep apnea has negative impacts on many processes in your body that are necessary for healthy erections. One large factor is that it can affect your cardiovascular system. You need a healthy heart and vascular system to supply enough blood for a firm erection, but sleep apnea can take a toll on your cardiovascular health. This sleep disorder can increase your blood pressure and also reduce oxygen levels in your blood, both of which are bad for your erectile function. Mood and hormone changes linked to sleep apnea may also lead to erectile dysfunction. Therefore, sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction is a complex issue that can adversely affect your sex life.
Sleep Apnea Affects Hormone Levels
Several studies have also found that sleep apnea can affect your hormone levels, particularly testosterone. Testosterone is necessary for sex drive as well as erectile function. Without testosterone, you may find that you’re frequently not in the mood for sex. Severely low testosterone levels can also lead to erectile dysfunction, as testosterone does play a role in the physical process of getting an erection. Therefore, this is another way that sleep apnea can affect sex.
Snoring Negatively Affects Your Partner, Too
In addition to how sleep apnea affects your own body, it can also have a huge impact on your partner. Namely, through snoring. Loud snoring is a hallmark of sleep apnea symptoms. Couples who deal with snoring also have higher rates of divorce. This makes sense, as your snoring from untreated sleep apnea can disrupt your partner’s sleep and lead to some of the same symptoms and health effects. Sleep deprivation is not only a serious health condition, but it can also seriously affect sexual desire and arousal. Your partner may suffer from low libido, irritability, and other issues that make them less likely to engage in sex and intimacy with you.
The Good News: Sleep Apnea Treatment Can Improve Your Sex Life
Hearing about all the different ways sleep apnea can wreck your sex life can seem like a downer, but we have a great silver lining for you: sleep apnea treatment can reverse many of these effects, as well as the symptoms and other health conditions linked to sleep apnea.
CPAP Therapy is Linked to Improvements in Erectile Function, Libido, and Overall Sexual Satisfaction
Many studies have found people’s sexual side effects from sleep apnea improve with treatment. CPAP therapy is one of the most common types of sleep apnea treatment because of how effective and safe it is. Research has found that CPAP therapy has helped sleep apnea sufferers improve erectile function, sexual desire, sexual satisfaction, and orgasmic satisfaction. So, if you’re suffering from sleep apnea, treatment has the added benefit of improving your sex life as well.
Getting Sleep Apnea Treatment Also Benefits Your Partner
As we mentioned, sleep apnea can also affect your partners, often through snoring and other disruptions during the night. Studies have actually found that people benefit from their partners using CPAP therapy as well. Researchers have found that sleep apnea treatment helps not only men suffering sleep apnea improve their erectile function and sex life, but also found that their female partners also had better sexual function after their partner started treatment for their sleep apnea. Therefore, getting treated can help both you and your partner get a better night’s sleep and improve intimacy.
Visit Low T Center – Sleep Apnea Clinic Offering Comprehensive Care
When you need quality health care, choose our team at Low T Center. We are a men’s health clinic offering treatment solutions for your whole health. Our providers offer diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing treatment monitoring for a wide range of conditions, including sleep apnea, erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, and diabetes. We address your health and wellness holistically to find underlying conditions and causes of your symptoms. Find affordable, convenient, and comprehensive sleep apnea care from one of our convenient sleep apnea clinics located throughout the country. Schedule an appointment today to discover a healthier you!
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.