- Sleep disorders are problems with quality, timing, and amount of sleep.
- Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disturbances among men.
- Sleeping problems have been linked to sexual issues such as erectile dysfunction.
- Your doctor will know how to help sleep disorders that affect your health and relationships.
It should be simple: Bed is for great sex, then for sleeping. But when sleep disorders become an issue in your relationship, the order must change. First, you must find the right treatment to improve your sleep quality. Only then will you have the stamina and energy to enjoy sex again.
Sleep Disorders and Men
According to the American Psychiatric Association sleep disorders are “problems with the quality, timing, and amount of sleep.” On average, men in the United States report shorter sleep duration than women.
Sleep apnea is one of the most common problems among males. Other sleep disturbances include insomnia and narcolepsy (excessive daytime sleepiness).
In some health conditions, the link with sleep disorders is bidirectional. For example, men with benign prostate hyperplasia frequently wake up at night to urinate, while those who report poor sleep quality have more symptoms of urinary tract infections.
Impact of Insomnia on Sexual Health
Sleep disorders have a significant impact on men’s wellbeing, including their sexual health. Sleep is a basic need, and not getting enough of it can put the body in a state of stress and alertness.
If we’re too stressed, our sex drive usually drops. Add to that low energy resulting from sleepless nights, and you get a recipe for bedroom problems.
Sleep disturbances such as obstructive sleep apnea often also lead to sexual health problems such as erectile dysfunction, lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), hypogonadism (low testosterone), and male infertility.
Sleep Medication and Sexual Performance
A study in European Urology Focus explored the links between insomnia, insomnia medication, and erectile dysfunction. Men diagnosed with insomnia and receiving treatment for it were at higher risk of developing ED and more likely to be prescribed a phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor (PDE5i), such as Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra.
When you have trouble with sleep that’s impacting your health, your doctor will likely recommend lifestyle changes, but for fast relief, they may offer a prescription for sleep medication.
Proceed with caution, however. Many sleeping pills tend to have a sedative effect, and they may also lower blood pressure. This combination of effects can have a negative impact on sexual function.
While all prescription sleep medications can have some effect on sexual function, some, like Ambien, have a greater risk of side effects than others and can cause addiction. Ramelteon, a medication that mimics the natural sleep-inducing process of the hormone melatonin, has fewer side effects and is not habit-forming, making it a better choice for many men.
Overcoming Sleep Challenges in Relationships
When one partner is struggling with their sleep, the whole relationship suffers. Poor sleep quality can affect work productivity, contributing to stress and tensions at home.
Moreover, sharing a bed with someone who wakes up many times during the night, or snores loudly, can throw the healthy partner’s sleeping rhythms off balance.
Try these relationship tips for dealing with problems related to poor sleep.
- Get the full picture. If you’re affected by a sleeping disorder, it’s your responsibility to get medical help. Ask your doctor what’s causing these problems and what you can do to improve your nighttime rest. Make sure to explain everything to your partner and brainstorm ways of supporting each other.
- Find the right time to resolve conflicts. Going for days without a good night’s sleep can turn even the most patient person into an angry fireball. Don’t feed that fire by starting a serious conversation when one or both of you are physically and mentally exhausted. Agree to deal with the issue when you both feel rested.
- Be there for them. If your partner is experiencing sleeping problems, your support can keep the relationship afloat. Ask your partner’s doctor for guidance on coping with your partner’s sleep issues. But don’t forget about yourself! Observe how his or her sleeping habits affect your own ability to rest and recover. If necessary, use earplugs, a sleeping mask, or even sleep in a separate bedroom until the situation improves.
Bedroom Tips for Sleepless Nights
Sleep disorders and sex life are not an easy combination to deal with. Still, it’s worth the effort to rekindle intimacy — sexual pleasure can actually help, as it promotes relaxation and good sleep.
Here’s what you can do to bring the sexy times back.
- Treat sleep disorders to improve libido. Tiredness is an enemy of desire. To revive your sex drive, ask the doctor about effective treatments for your sleeping problems.
- Take advantage of better days for intimate encounters. If you’ve been living with a sleeping disorder for some time, you know when you tend to feel more rested. Use those days (or times of the day) for your erotic get-togethers. Doesn’t sound romantic? It’s better to have scheduled sex when you’re feeling relaxed than to force yourself to get in the mood when all you can fantasize about is uninterrupted sleep.
- Treat your erectile dysfunction. For most men, the ability to satisfy their partner in bed is essential to their sense of manhood. Quite often, they don’t realize that their ED may be linked to a sleep disorder. Thankfully, there are simple and effective treatments out there. Erectile dysfunction medications, including Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra, are safe for most men and can help you feel sexy again.
Ramelteon for Better Sleep and Sexual Health
Sleeping disorders are not to be taken lightly. They can cause serious damage to your health, relationship, and sexual satisfaction. With effective treatment, you can quickly bring your love life back on track.
Ramelteon (the generic version of Rozerem) is an effective prescription medication for sleeping disturbances. It has a high safety profile, and you can take it over longer periods.
Contrary to other popular treatments, it rarely causes next-day drowsiness and doesn’t cause addiction. Ask your doctor for a prescription or use eDrugstore’s free telemedicine consultation with a U.S.-licensed physician. Visit this page to learn more about ramelteon.
Anka Grzywacz is a sexologist, reproductive health expert and Certified Sex Coach™. In her online practice she helps busy women and couples solve their intimate problems.