Both Sleep And Sexual Issues Are Common In Midlife
Its important to understand any entanglement between sleep and sexual issues, since both are so common in midlife women, says a coauthor of the study, Stephanie Faubion, MD, the chair of the department of medicine at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and the medical director of the North American Menopause Society .
Prior research has found that more than 26 percent of midlife women have significant sleep issues, with more than half experiencing at least some sleep problems during the menopause transition, the study authors note.
Meanwhile, some 43 percent of midlife women have a sexual dysfunction, which can be reduced desire, orgasm issues, dissatisfaction, pain, or other problems.
How Sex Can Help Improve Your Sleep
Having trouble sleeping? Have sex.
Researchand plenty of anecdotal evidencehas shown solo or partnered sex can promote sleep. In one study of nearly 800 adults, almost 71% said their sleep quality improved after sex with a partner masturbation to orgasm led to improved sleep quality for more than 50% of respondents. Partnered sex and masturbation both helped people fall asleep more quickly as well.
Heres how sex improves sleep .
When You Don’t Have That Physical Intimacy It Can Lead To ‘touch Starvation’
Because having sex has so many health benefits, not being able to have it when you want to can have many health consequences.
People who have gone months without being able to safely have physical intimacy can develop skin hunger and touch starvation which can weaken your immune system and lead to elevated rates of depression and anxiety.
“When those who would like to be having sex and are used to having it regularly experience a lack of sexual intimacy, the opposite can occur in the form of detrimental effects to mental, emotional, and physical health resulting in a variety of symptoms and feelings of isolation, insecurity, and lowered self-esteem,” Dr. Dulcinea Pitagora, a NYC-based psychotherapist and sex therapist, told Insider.
Yes Sleep Deprivation Can Lead To Erectile Dysfunction How To Deal With It
Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti | Updated : April 30, 2022 4:13 PM IST
Most of us tend to cut down on sleep to meet our work targets or home responsibilities. The urge to get the job done somehow proves to be stressful on the body. Lack of sleep is known to have adverse effects on the brain, heart, weight and life in general. However, specifically in males, sleep deprivation is known to cause erectile dysfunction. Dr Sandeep Patil, Chief Intensivist and Physician, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan shed light on how lack of sleep can lead to impotence in men.
Sleep Deprivation And Erectile Dysfunction
by Sleep Center of Middle Tennessee | Jun 15, 2020
We only recommend products in our blog that we recommend in our office. We may receive a small commission on some products but it does not change the price you pay .
Mens Health Month calls for self care, which requires reflection, honesty, and greater awareness. Did you know 44% of men suffering from erectile dysfunction can trace it to another health concern? For example, theres a direct link between sleep deprivation and erectile dysfunction.
Both topics necessitate great attention because you deserve to be your best self, to be as healthy as possible. Some men assume theyre dealing as best they can, unknowing they jeopardize their health and intimate relationships.
Sleep deprivation and erectile dysfunction may be symptoms of one common sleep disorder. That means there may be one health solution for poor sleep and erectile dysfunction- in an unlikely place. No pills required.
Also Check: Sleeping Heart Rate Dip Apple Watch
Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which your breathing is interrupted while you sleep. This can happen with obstructive sleep apnea or a problem with your central nervous system’s signals .
Symptoms can vary based on the severity of your sleep apnea and what type you have, but generally include:
- Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up
- Forgetfulness or irritability
- Having to urinate frequently at night
- Sexual dysfunction
Can A Lack Of Sex In A Relationship Cause Depression
If there is no intimacy between the partners, the relationship may suffer. Living in a sexless relationship, or being without the physical contact and reassurance of love that sex provides, can be harmful to a marriage. Feeling unwanted by your spouse or dealing with a sexless relationship can lead to major depression. Symptoms of this type of depression include:
2. Insomnia or excessive sleeping
3. Significant weight loss or gain
4. Appetite suppression
7. Panic attacks
A lack of sex in a relationship can lead to depression and the desire to have an affair. Insecurities may arise as a result of a lack of love and desire, which you may try to fill with another person. This can be extremely damaging to your marriage or relationship.
Read Also: Use Apple Watch To Track Sleep
Does Sleep Deprivation Cause Erectile Dysfunction
Nights of restlessness lead to sluggishness during the day, irritability with relationships, and lower cognitive functioning at work. Furthermore, getting less than 8 hours of sound sleep means poorer circulation and lower levels of testosterone, leading to erectile dysfunction and relationship issues.
Going Through Full Cycles In Sleep Is Key To Quality Rest
This may be because during the night, a person passes through a series of sleep stages, a cycle that is repeated several times each night. Repeated interruptions of these cycles short-circuit this process.
Researchers, such as the authors of a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience in October 2015, have begun to document the effects of disrupted sleep separately from the total amount of sleep a person gets, and have found it impacts everything from physical and emotional health to how your brain functions during the day.
In the Menopause study, the researchers were not able to determine why reported sleep quality had a bigger impact than duration, but it could be related to the interruption of these cycles.
The researchers also could not determine whether poor quality sleep led to poorer sex, or whether it was a lack of good sex that affected a womans ability to sleep. Logically it makes sense that sleep quality issues impact sex, because when youre tired you dont have much libido. But it could also indicate an issue with her relationship that is affecting her ability to sleep, Faubion says.
Also Check: Does Fitbit Charge 2 Track Sleep
Sleep Deprivation Side Effects That Affect Erectile Performance
Testosterone is the only factor in sexual drive and performance. Other mediating factors include:
· Dopamine receptors
Dopamine is a hormone that is a necessary component for men to feel sexual desire, and plays an important role in the process of getting an erection. Dopamine receptors are responsible for dopamine uptake. Sleep is of paramount importance for ensuring that dopamine receptors are healthy and functioning. The takeaway:
1. Less sleep leads to poorly functioning dopamine receptors
2. Bad receptors lead to less dopamine uptake
3. Less dopamine uptake can significantly affect sexual desire and erectile performance
Cortisol is a stress hormone that also increased when you are sleep deprived, and can impact testosterone and stress level, which in turn may also impact sex drive and performance.
Sleep Loss Is Inflammatory And Inflammation Makes Us Lose Sleep
Sleep loss is probably terrible for our health in general because its inflammatory and, because life is unfair, inflammation probably also makes it harder to sleep. Ugh.
The link between sleep and pain is partly based on some superficially simple inflammatory biology: bad sleep is inflammatory and inflammation makes it harder to sleep, which is not so widely appreciated. That means that sleeping badly can actually make it harder to sleep well! This is a vicious cycle every extremely frustrated insomniac is all-too familiar with: being exhausted from a sleepless is not a guarantee that you will sleep well the next night.
So inflammation and sleep deprivation reinforce each other, and that vicious cycle is obviously in turn relevant to every kind of health problem that is mediated by inflammation, which appears to be most of them.
Also Check: Sleep Apnea Service Connected
Symptoms Of Erectile Dysfunction
The symptoms of erectile dysfunction are generally straightforward. It’s important to note that erectile dysfunction is more often a sign of other problems rather than an isolated issue.
Common symptoms include:
- Not being able to achieve an erection when you want to
- Not being able to maintain an erection
- Not being able to achieve an erection at all
Orgasms Can Have A Number Of Health Benefits Including Anxiety Relief Boosting Immunity And Helping You Sleep Better
According to Dr. Rachel Needle, psychologist and co-director of Modern Sex Therapy Institutes, having sex can be positive for people’s physical and mental health.
It helps you sleep better, decreasing pain, lowering stress, lessening anxiety and depression, and more. Symptoms arise at different times based on people’s needs and can show up anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Needle said these benefits are so important that people who can’t have partnered sex should still be masturbating and having orgasms.
“Orgasm releases endorphins which can help decrease stress, at least temporarily, and lead to positive feelings making us happier,” Needle said. “So even if you aren’t having partnered sex, if you want to continue having these benefits, find ways to keep having orgasms.”
Also Check: Va Rating For Sleep Disturbances
Does Masturbating Help You Sleep
Orgasms via masturbation are just as effective at helping people get better sleep as those with a partner. Like having sex with a partner, masturbating can lead to a perception of better sleep quality. It may also help you fall asleep faster. Therefore, sex with a partner isn’t totally necessary to experience potential sleep benefits.²
Is It Possible For A Relationship To Survive Without Intimacy
A relationship can survive without intimacy, and sexless relationships can as well. A relationship without intimacy, however, is not the same as a relationship without sex. Some people may not have a lot of sexual activity and arent bothered by it, especially if they have other types of intimacy such as emotional and spiritual intimacy.However, if there is no type of intimacy in the relationship, that is a separate issue that may or may not be related to the lack of sex.
Empty love refers to a relationship that lacks intimacy and passion and relies solely on commitment, according to Brown-James, citing psychologist Robert Sternbergs triangular theory of love. These relationships can last however, partners may appear to be more like roommates than lovers.
There is one exception in which marriages without passion can survive and thrive. When passion is absent, relationships, where friendship and commitment are the foundation of connection, survive and thrive.
Read Also: Why Didn’t My Fitbit Track My Sleep Stages
Medications That Can Cause Insomnia
Modern medicine has come a long way, and prescription medications can meaningfully improve your quality of life. Yet others can hinder it with unintended side effects.
Some medications linked to the development of insomnia include antidepressants, certain drugs to treat Parkinson’s disease, drugs to treat Alzheimers disease, and stimulants.
Some over-the-counter medications may also include ingredients like caffeine which can have detrimental effects on sleep.
If you think your medication may be contributing to insomnia or an inability to get good sleep, talk to your doctor about the best course of action.
And Why It Doesn’t Take A Sex Therapist To Fix It
Twenty-five years ago, I wrote an article for a professional journal warning of sleep deprivation’s impact on sexual functioning. At the time, if 100 sex therapists were asked to identify the most common causes of diminished sex drive and sexual capacity, the majority would answer performance anxiety and/or communication issues. Its true that, regardless of other etiology, performance anxiety and communication difficulties are almost always present as either a cause and/or consequence of sexual difficulty. However, neither of these factors is the most common cause of sexual distress in the United States: Its fatigue. Fatigue is an epidemic in our society and can be caused by a number of medical, psychosocial, and environmental conditions.
Moderate daily exercise is one of the most frequent recommendations for those with low energy and/or sleep problems, yet excessive exercise can produce fatigue. While not relevant for the majority of people, the most athletic among us should take a moment to check: Is that resting pulse a little too amazing? This may be of special interest to those who in this time of Covid19 are using excessive exercise as a way of coping with being “locked in” and the often alienating requirements of social distancing. Are your athletic regimen and social life producing a level of fatigue incompatible with good sexual experiences?
Don’t Miss: Why Isnt My Fitbit Tracking My Sleep
Sex Releases Hormones That Facilitate Sleep
Sexual activity causes the body to release extra oxytocin, the so-called love hormone that helps people feel connected to one another. The body also secretes more prolactin, another feel-good hormone, in response to sexual activity.
After sex, these hormones tend to act like sedatives, causing both men and women to feel sleepy and relaxed. Sex also decreases the amount of circulating cortisol in the blood cortisol is a stress hormone associated with the fight-or-flight response.
Women experience elevated estrogen levels after sex. Extra estrogen can enhance REM sleep, a stage of deep sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Lack Of Sleep And Sex Life
Sleep deprivation is often associated with mood disorders, exhaustion and poor stamina. These factors have an impact on the sexual performance and thus stall sexual functioning and energy. Problems with ejaculation are also experienced by some in such situations. Males who are deprived of sleep also tend to be aggressive and intolerable which in turn affects an intimate relationship. Lack of sleep also speeds up the ageing process which obstructs sexual activities. Also read are you sleeping well?
Don’t Miss: Service Connected Sleep Apnea Proof
Lack Of Sleep: How Work Relationships Suffer
Sleep loss impairs attention, alertness, concentration, memory, reasoning, problem solving, and response time. In other words, it can wreak havoc on work performance. Add these symptoms to mood problems, and work relationships can take a dive.
âPeople are often concerned about their lowered productivity and about their boss or co-workers taking notice of it,â Siebern says. âAnd the effects of loss of sleep on mood — increased irritability, frustration, and so on — can impact work relationships.â
If Insomnia Does Cause Pain The Costs Are Even More Serious
Can pain shorten your life? Its a plausible and disturbing possibility.
A large study of four million Swedes looked for a correlation between increased mortality and work absenteeism due to painful musculoskeletal conditions.They found the first ever evidence that people who have musculoskeletal pain may have an increased risk of premature death. The researchers adjusted their data for several potential confounders. The costs of pain are often expressed in terms of hair-raising stats on the economics of work absenteeism but they may be much greater still.
Pain and insomnia are clearly the perfect ingredients not only of a vicious cycle, each one worsening the other, but potentially a dangerous one. The stakes are high.
Recommended Reading: Fitbit Alta Sleep Tracker
If You Want Better Sex You Need Better Sleep
One in three American adults do not get enough sleep. Sexual issues are also common, with as many as 45 percent of women and 31 percent of men having a concern about their sex life. While these might seem like distinct concerns, they are actually highly related.
How are sleep and sex related? We most commonly sleep and have sex in the same locationthe bedroom. Less obvious but more important is that lack of sleep and lack of sex share some common underlying causes, including stress. Especially important, lack of sleep can lead to sexual problems and a lack of sex can lead to sleep problems. Conversely, a good nights sleep can lead to a greater interest in sex, and orgasmic sex can result in a better nights sleep.
I’m a sex educator and researcher who has published several studies on the effectiveness of self-help books in enhancing sexual functioning. I have also written two sexual self-help books, both based in research findings. My latest book, Becoming Cliterate, is aimed at empowering women to reach orgasm. More pertinent to the connection between sleep and sex, my first book, A Tired Womans Guide to Passionate Sex, was written to help the countless women who say they are too exhausted to be interested in sex.
More from VICE:
Additionally, experts claim that sex might have gender-specific effects on sleep. Among women, orgasm increases estrogen, which leads to deeper sleep. Among men, the hormone prolactin that is secreted after orgasm results in sleepiness.
Sleep Can Causeyes Erectile Dysfunction
Sleep deprivation can cause erectile dysfunction . This often comes as a shock to most men and, in cases where men deal with ED, it can be a sign of hope because it can be easily fixed if sleep is causing the ED. Sleep deprivation can affect your sex life in several ways:
· Reduced sex drive
· Inability to get an erection
· Inability to perform
Sleep deprivation is caused when you get less than your optimal sleep period, which for adults is 7-9 hours per day. A couple nights of sleep deprivation is not likely to cause ED, though you may feel less libido in that time period. Usually, we are talking about chronic sleep deprivation as a cause of ED and reduced libido.
You May Like: How Does Vivofit Track Sleep