Does Sleep Deprivation Cause Erectile Dysfunction

About Erectile Dysfunction

It is estimated that one in ten men will have recurring erectile dysfunction at some point in their life

Only 10% of sufferers receive treatment

The causes can be physical (e.g. due to disease) or psychological (e.g. due to work stress), but treatment is available for both

Erectile dysfunction is an inability to get or keep an erection. As sexual activity is an important part of life, erectile dysfunction has a profound effect on sufferers. Occasional inability to maintain an erection can be caused by too much alcohol, stress, or a number of other factors. However, a frequent inability indicates a problem that for most people is treatable.

The psychological causes can usually be treated by discovering the source of the problem (for example stress at home or depression) and helping to solve the problem through counseling or lifestyle changes. Physical causes can include:


High blood pressure

Heavy smoking

High cholesterol or other heart problems

The effect of some medications

Treatment typically takes the form of pills, though injections, surgery and other devices are also used. It is important to discuss erectile dysfunction with your doctor and not seek a solution with non-approved pills or creams advertised on the internet or television.

About Sleep and Erectile Dysfunction

Like many other functions during sleep, men frequently get erections while sleeping

There is evidence that sleep disorders are linked to erectile dysfunction

Throughout the day, and especially during sleep, there are cycles of hormones and other physiological chemicals. One of these is testosterone, which is an important hormone for many aspects of sexual health. People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a common sleep disorder, have an interrupted testosterone cycle. It is possible that such disrupted hormonal cycles may be the link between OSA and the ability to maintain an erection.

The most successful way to treat OSA is with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine used while sleeping. Scientific studies have shown that the use of a CPAP in men with erectile dysfunction and OSA improves their ability to maintain an erection and their sex life. The CPAP is about as successful as the traditional oral pills.

When you discuss erectile dysfunction with your doctor, be sure to mention any sleep problems you may also be having.

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