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Is Your Libido Being Affected By Untreated Sleep Apnea?

December 23, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — sleepbetterchicagoland @ 8:16 pm

A man sitting on a bed covering his face.As you’re gearing up for the holidays, there are plenty of opportunities for romance with your significant other. However, if you haven’t been looking forward to this type of occasion because you fear that your libido hasn’t been what it used to be, there’s a possibility that another underlying condition could be causing your issue. Many people don’t realize it at first, but lowered libido and erectile dysfunction can both appear due to sleep apnea. With sleep apnea treatment in Skokie, you can treat and manage your symptoms once and for all!


What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition where certain oral structures (including the tongue and hard or soft palate) obstruct the airway, making it very difficult to stay asleep. When we refer to the word “apnea,” we’re talking about when an obstruction blocks the airway and the body forces you awake in order to kickstart breathing. Apneas can occur dozens or even hundreds of times in a single night, making it nearly impossible to achieve REM sleep. This state of sleep is very important for regeneration and making you feel rested the next morning.

While there are multiple forms of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea is by far the most common form out there today. It affects tens of millions of people and is characterized by the following:

  • Loud chronic snoring
  • Gasping or choking in the middle of the night
  • Chronic fatigue the next day, even after going to bed early
  • Morning headaches
  • Restless sleep
  • Forgetfulness, mood changes/swings, and decreased interest in sex

How Can Sleep Apnea Affect Your Sex Drive?

According to a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, women who had sleep apnea were found to have significantly higher rates of sexual dysfunction compared to those who did not have sleep apnea. The same appears to be true for men, according to a 2009 study reporting that 70 percent of men in the test group with suspected sleep apnea also suffered from erectile dysfunction.

This makes sense because those with sleep debt are more likely to also experience poor moods, mental health issues, mental exhaustion, and a disinterest in sex or intimacy.

What Treatments are Available for Sleep Apnea?

Thankfully, there are ways to treat your sleep apnea directly. One of the most common methods is through oral appliance therapy, where an oral device that is customized to fit your mouth exactly is worn while you sleep. This keeps the airway open, ensuring that enough air is inhaled throughout the night and no apneas occur.

Additionally, CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines can force air into your lungs as you sleep. If you struggle to use the CPAP, combining it with an oral appliance (known as combined therapy) can allow you to reduce the settings on your CPAP machine and address potential compliance issues.

Is your libido affected by sleep apnea in Skokie? Not sure if you need treatment or if the symptoms are present? Schedule an appointment with a dentist, who can create your oral appliance and work with sleep doctors to diagnose your issue!

About Sleep Better Chicagoland

Dr. David B Schwartz and Dr. Arielle Wulfsohn are fully dedicated to treating your sleep apnea symptoms when they appear. Their expertise means you can get a treatment that’s fully personalized to you, no matter how minor or severe your sleep apnea might be. To schedule an appointment, you can contact them through their website.

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