Few things are as of great a concern to a man as erectile dysfunction, and understandably so. Men take pride in the manner in which their penis operates and when there is a "kink" in the machinery, it can create anxiety. Clearly, erectile dysfunction is linked to the greater area of penis health, but it can also be related to more general health matters. In this regard, one area which has received more attention in recent years is the possibility of a link between sleep apnea and erectile dysfunction.
Most people have heard of sleep apnea, but not everyone really knows what it is. According to the Mayo Clinic, sleep apnea is defined as "a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts." Those with sleep apnea tend to snore very loudly and they often awake from a night's sleep feeling unrested.
There are three types of sleep apnea:
– Obstructive, which is caused by the manner in which the throat muscles relax or tighten;
– Central, which means the brain is not properly sending messages to the muscles to regulate the breathing; and
– Complex syndrome, which is a combination of the other two forms of.
In addition to loud snoring and feeling unrested, a person with may experience periods of wakefulness during the night, insomnia, dry mouth, irritability, attention issues, sleepiness or morning headaches.
The erectile dysfunction connection
So is unpleasant, but what might it have to do with erectile dysfunction? Well, there definitely seems to be a connection – many men with also report issues with obtaining or maintaining an erection.
Although studies are ongoing to provide a definitive answer, there seem to be two ways in which sleep apnea may contribute to poor erectile function.
– Testosterone production. Studies (both in animals and humans) have found when male subjects are placed in a situation in which they receive an inadequate amount of sleep, their testosterone levels are negatively affected. Since chronic sleep apnea impacts a man's sound sleep, this may result in lowered testosterone – which in turn has an impact on libido and erectile function.
– Nitric oxide production. In addition, some studies have shown that men with sleep apnea produce less nitric oxide, which is valuable for increasing blood flow to the penis. When that blood flow is impeded, erections are more difficult to achieve and maintain.
Men who think they have sleep apnea (whether it is affecting their erectile function or not) should consult with a doctor. Treatment often involves using what is called a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, which is used at night to keep a continuous flow of air going into the body. But sometimes there are other options that can be equally effective, such as losing weight or stopping smoking.
Erectile dysfunction from sleep apnea (or other causes) may require specific strategies for treatment, but regardless of the course chosen, it pays to keep the penis in good general health. Use of a Daily first class penis health the crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, Which is Clinically proven to mild and safe for skin) is always a plus. It may interest men to know that some cremes contain L-arginine, an amino acid that is very helpful in creating nitric oxide. As mentioned above, nitric oxide plays a role in keeping blood flowing to the penis in an appropriate manner. Try to make sure that the crème also contains vitamin C, which is a key component of collagen, a tissue in the body that gives skin its tone and elasticity and is vital for penile erections.