Question

Sex Drive (Libido)

How can sleep apnea affect desire for sexual activity?

A Answers (2)

  • AMichael Breus, PhD, Psychology, answered
    Science is increasingly focusing its attention on the hormone testosterone -- which is affected by sleep and in turn affects sexual function -- as an important factor in the sexual problems associated with sleeplessness. Among sleep disorders, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) often is particularly -- and incorrectly -- associated as somehow a “men’s issue,” which likely accounts for the difference in the amount of attention that has been paid to its effects on men’s sexual function versus women’s. Numerous studies have shown that sleep apnea, untreated, can have serious consequences for men’s sexual function. One study showed that men with erectile dysfunction are more than twice as likely to have OSA than those without -- and the more serious the erectile dysfunction, the more likely it is that the man also has sleep apnea.
  • ASecondsCount.org answered

    Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing is interrupted during sleep or you breathe shallowly while sleeping. It is not only a risk factor for heart attack; it can also affect sexual activity. Interrupted sleep causes fatigue, which can decrease your interest in sexual activity.

    Treatment of sleep apnea can decrease fatigue. Treatment usually consists of using a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine at night, which uses mild air pressure through a face mask to keep your airways open.

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