By now, we all know that sleep is an essential part of the human experience. We need sleep to maintain our health mentally and physically. But did you know that your sleep is directly linked to the health of your erection?
For men, sleep is integral to sexual health. It affects your heart, blood flow, and oxygen levels. However, there is one silent (or not-so-silent) killer than may be directly robbing you of your performance: Sleep Apnea!
Let’s look at what’s happening to your body and how treating sleep apnea may help reverse ED.
- Episode Video
- Why Sleep Apnea Leads to Erectile Dysfunction
- Your Penis Needs Exercise
- How to Treat Sleep Apnea and Reverse ED
- Final Thoughts
Why Sleep Apnea Leads to Erectile Dysfunction
Sleep apnea is a common problem that can seriously impact your sex life. It’s a condition where people stop breathing during sleep, causing them to wake up in the middle of their sleep cycle.
It's usually caused by problems with how your airway closes off during sleep. In addition to erectile dysfunction, it can lead to fatigue, poor concentration, memory problems, and even weight gain. In fact, over 60% of men with sleep apnea report problems with their erections.
Part of the reason why sleep apnea affects your sexual performance is the lack of oxygen in your body due to the condition. Low oxygen also means low blood flow, an essential element in your erection.
There’s another surprising reason it may cause ED that not many know about.
Your Penis Needs Exercise
While you yourself may be inactive during sleep, one member of your body certainly isn’t. Your penis! On average, a man gets an erection about three to six times per night. Each lasts about 10 minutes to 30 minutes.
This phenomenon is called Nighttime Erections. When you don't get regular nighttime erections, your penis is not getting the exercise it needs to stay healthy.
Remember, the penis is a muscle filled with blood vessels. Like any muscle, it needs to be exercised to function correctly. One way your body does this is by causing nighttime erections. By ruining your sleep cycle with sleep apnea, your body misses the opportunity to keep your erection healthy.
How to Treat Sleep Apnea and Reverse ED
Now that you know the facts, how do you treat it? First, the best thing to do is go to the doctor and ask for a sleep study. A sleep study is when you stay overnight at the hospital so they can monitor your sleeping patterns to discern if you have ED. If diagnosed, you can move on to treatments.
One available treatment is a CPAP machine. This is a device that pumps oxygen into your body while you sleep so that you can stay oxygenated. While effective, there is another efficient way to stop sleep apnea in its tracks and also boost your overall health: losing weight.
Sleep apnea is prevalent in overweight and inactive individuals. By changing your diet to something more like a Mediterranean diet and exercising regularly, you may be able to treat sleep apnea naturally.
Sleep apnea could very well be the factor causing your ED. It’s also linked to other health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. So if you're struggling with any of these issues, make sure to get checked by a doctor.
If you have sleep apnea, there are some things you can do to improve your sex life. Make sure to eat well, exercise, and get proper treatment to improve your overall health and sex life!
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