Good sleep is necessary for good health. Sleep health is increasingly recognized as important for physical and mental health by both the medical profession and the general public. Insufficient sleep, disrupted sleep, and sleep disorders affect many aspects of human health including sexual function.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when a person has difficulty to get or maintain an erection for long enough to have sexual intercourse. ED is quite prevalent, especially among the middle-aged and older population, affecting more than half (52%) of men aged 40 to 70 years.
This article looks at the link between sleep difficulties and ED, as well as how to treat both conditions.
On average, humans spend one-third of their lives asleep. Sleep is a restorative physiologic state and is a vital factor in physical and mental health maintenance, memory consolidation, and immune defense enhancement. Sleep is an essential biological process that is now appreciated as vital to both physical and mental health.
The most likely explanation for the mechanism between sleep disorder and ED may relate to testosterone levels. People with sleep disorder tend to have lower levels of testosterone, which is an essential hormone in relation to sexual activity. Decreased in testosterone can lead to erectile dysfunction (ED), decreased libido, muscle mass, bone mineral mass density, mood and ejaculatory function.
People experiencing sleep difficulties are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction than those without the condition. This may be due to changes in testosterone levels.
Sleep is considered to be a ‘third pillar of health’, along with diet and exercise. Sexual dysfunction is more common among older men, and insomnia has been found to be an independent risk factor related to sexual dysfunction, along with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression.
Causes of Sleep Disorder
In modern society with round-the-clock activities, the average sleep duration tends to shorten and survey studies in the US have found that 43.8% of the population reports sleeping less than 6 hours per night whereas the recommended sleeping time is 8 hours. The main factors for sleep disorders are stressful lifestyle, overweight, excessive smoking and drinking. Chronic sleep restriction is associated with numerous medical problems, including type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, depression, hypertension, and heart disease.
The main sleep disorders are Insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome. The common symptoms of sleep disorders are difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, awakening earlier than desired, resistance to going to bed on an appropriate schedule, and difficulty sleeping without parents.
Causes of erectile dysfunction
The cause of Erectile Dysfunction generally relates to problems with blood flow to the penis, nerve supply, or hormones. This can be due to physical factors, such as:
high blood pressure
substance use, such as smoking
hormonal disorders, such as thyroid conditions
taking medications, such as antidepressants
Emotional problems can also sometimes cause ED. This could relate to feelings of guilt or a mental health condition, such as depression.
There is a variety of treatment options for both sleep apnea and ED.
Treatment for sleep disorders.
Treatment of sleep disorders involves prescription of drugs, mouth devices to improve breathing, life style changes such as losing weight or reducing smoking and drinking. The correct treatment will depend on the underlying problem.
Treatment for erectile dysfunction
ED should be treated directly, medications that increase blood flow to the penis, such as sildenafil, sold as Viagra, can give short term relieve but they don’t fix the root cause of the problem.
Focal Shockwave Therapy is a solution.
Shockwave therapy is the latest treatment modality for patients suffering from erectile dysfunction and is one of the few treatments options that improves natural erections and fix the root cause. It can bring lasting improvement, without the need for medications such as PDE-5 Inhibitors, vacuum pumps, injections and implants, allowing patients to enjoy renewed sexual spontaneity, harder erections, intimacy and a better sex life.
Where To Access Treatment
We are pioneering in the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction with Focal Shockwave Therapy in Ireland. Our services are available in Men’s Health Solutions Shockwave Therapy to patients in Dublin; we receive patients from all over Ireland seeking treatment with Focal Shockwave for Impotence.
If you’re considering treatment, we encourage you to connect with our team.