6 Questions About Sex and Sleep You’re Too Afraid to Ask
Could the quality of my sleep be affecting my sex life? The answer is yes. Sleep quality and your sex life are directly correlated. Let’s explore six common questions about sleep and sex.
1. Can a lack of sleep impact my libido?
Lack of sleep can certainly impact your libido. Simply put, low energy causes tension and stress, which makes it difficult to relax. Fatigue drags you down and your sex life is likely to follow suit. Low energy side effects like crankiness, malaise and anxiety can also lead to relationship struggles and a decreased sex-drive.
Sleep apnea, a serious sleep condition, is characterized by disruptive nighttime breathing that repeatedly wakes you up throughout the night. Oxygen deprivation is a common problem for those suffering from sleep conditions like obstructive sleep apnea.
One of the many side effects of this chronic sleep condition is the body’s ability to produce the sex hormone testosterone. Testosterone levels naturally rises while we sleep, and the body needs oxygen in order to produce and process levels that will sustain a healthy libido.
Research studies link the correlation between sex and sleep, and sleep doctors recommend that you see a specialist if you suspect you are suffering from a sleep condition related to snoring or sleep apnea.
2. Is there a correlation between conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea and sexual dysfunction?
Many sleep disorders, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in particular, are tied to sexual dysfunction. A study, conducted by researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, revealed that male patients with OSA produce lower levels of testosterone, leading to a decreased level of sexual activity. Lack of oxygen, due to breathing issues associated with OSA, can also potentially lead to medical complications, including various types of sexual dysfunction.
3. How does snoring affect my relationship?
Snoring affects both bed partners in a relationship. Those who snore, and those who sleep next to someone who snores, suffer from lack of sleep. Many partners choose to cope by sleeping in separate rooms because nightly disturbances become intolerable.
This separation often starts off as a temporary arrangement but can become permanent, leading to a strained relationship and decreased sexual activity. A lack of sleep and continued separation at bedtime is a recipe for dwindling desires and sexual frustration.
4. Can both men and women experience sexual problems due to sleep disorders?
Men and women alike deal with sexual problems caused by sleep disorders. Sleep problems and disorders are closely linked to issues such as erectile dysfunction, decreased libido and even clinical depression.
Injury to nerve tissue and the lining of blood vessels, caused by oxygen deprivation, is often tied to female sexual dysfunction (FDS). This can cause pain, decreased sexual desire, lower sexual satisfaction and lubrication issues.
5. How do I know if I’m suffering from poor sleep?
There are many symptoms associated with poor sleep. You may feel overly tired, restless or have trouble concentrating. Sleep problems can impact every facet of your life, including your sex life, and can potentially lead to serious medical conditions like high blood pressure and depression if left untreated.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can cause other symptoms as well, such as a sore throat, irregular heartbeat or the feeling that you are choking or gasping for air.
The best way to find out if you are suffering from poor sleep is to visit an otolaryngologist for an evaluation of your sleep concerns.
6. Can sleep apnea treatment revitalize my sex life?
Yes, sleep apnea treatments can revive your sex life. If you’re having intimacy issues and suspect you may have one or more of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea, treatment options are available.
Sleep can profoundly impact your sex life, and it may be affecting your performance in the bedroom without you even knowing it. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that over 16 million Americans may not know they’re living with obstructive sleep apnea.
Schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified eos sleep physicians to discuss the different treatment options.
If you snore and wonder if you might have obstructive sleep apnea, take our snore quiz to assess your risk factors. Don’t let sleep problems affect your relationship.