Be cautious, sleep deprivation leads to erectile dysfunction

Dr Sandeep Patil, chief Intensivist and Physician at Fortis Hospital, Kalyan, shares how lack of sleep or change in sleeping patterns can affect the sex life of a man

Be cautious, sleep deprivation leads to erectile dysfunction

In these busy schedules, some people cut down their sleep to make sure that other responsibilities, work and familial, are met. The urge to ‘get the job done’ somehow proves to be stressful on the body. And, getting the right amount of sleep can do wonders for your health. It plays an important role in reducing the stress levels and lifting the mood. Lack of sleep is known to have adverse effects on brain, heart, weight, and life in general. However, specifically in males, sleep deprivation can become a cause of erectile dysfunction.

Getting quality sleep is significant in maintaining testosterone levels, which is vital in maintaining a man’s erection and the sex life. It is proven that most testosterone is produced while sleeping; highest levels of testosterone are produced during REM (deep stages of sleep) sleep. When a man is sleep-deprived, his testosterone levels drop to as much as 70%. Thus, a decrease in total sleep or a disrupted sleep can impact the sexual function. Many studies show that sleep deprivation and sleep apnoea (interrupted breathing while asleep) can cause erectile dysfunction in more than 60% of men.

Sleep deprivation is often associated with mood swings, exhaustion, and poor stamina. These factors have an impact on the sexual performance and thus can stall sexual functioning and energy. An ejaculation shortfall is also experienced 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 aging process which obstructs the sexual activities.

If one experiences sleep deprivation, seeking medical help or discussing the matter with your partner and your doctor can switch things around. Men, those who have been treated for such cases have shown improvement in sleep patterns which have progressively enhanced sexual functions. Most men require at least 7-8 hours of sleep for testosterone to be produced. To maintain adequate sexual function, it is important to get a good quality sleep.