Sleep Care

Impotence and Sleep Apnea

Male impotence, also known as erectile dysfunction (ED), is defined as the inability to achieve or sustain an erection for satisfactory sexual activity. Erectile dysfunction can be a common problem for men with sleep apnea. Approximately 80% of men with sleep apnea have occasional to frequent symptoms of erectile dysfunction. This prevalence is due in part to symptoms associated with untreated sleep apnea, such as lack of sleep, decreased amounts of REM and the likeliness of obesity. When a man’s body lacks sleep, his testosterone levels can be lower than normal, and lower testosterone levels make it likely that he will suffer from ED symptoms. A lack of REM sleep can also be a problem, since the number of erections during sleep is lowered. Obesity also increases the likeliness that ED symptoms will occur.

Treating your sleep apnea can help to reverse your erectile dysfunction. Researchers have found that by treating sleep apnea with CPAP approximately 20% of men found relief from their ED symptoms. Also, it has been shown that CPAP treatment can increase the chance that prescription medications will be successful in helping reverse erectile-dysfunction symptoms.
When discussing ED with your physician make sure that you discuss any sleeping problems that you may be having. Diagnosing sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea and treating them can help you to overcome your erectile dysfunction.

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