Sleep Apnea and Sexual Function: What’s the connection?

Sleep apnea can affect more than just your sleep. It can also affect some bedroom activities. In fact, some bed partners are also forced to sleep in separate rooms due to very loud snoring!

Patients who suffer from OSA have reported loss of interest in sex and diminished intimacy with their partner. Studies have found that 40-64% of men with sleep apnea also suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED). In a 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), it showed that chronic sleep deprivation is partially responsible for low testosterone levels in men. As such, sleep disorders like sleep apnea can negatively affect testosterone levels if left untreated.

That being said, it’s not just men who experience sexual problems. According to Petersen et. al., women with untreated sleep apnea are also at a higher risk for having sexual difficulties.

The good news is, all is not lost! Treating OSA may help bring back the spark 😉 Studies have shown that Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) treatment can improve sexual function. Results show that patients who used CPAP reported lower ED complaints and higher sexual satisfaction. CPAP can also get rid of loud snoring so partners can then sleep in the same room and have a good night’s sleep.

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, why not give your special someone the best gift? Flowers and chocolates are good, but a good night’s sleep is even better!

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