Sleep Your Way to Better Sex: How Good Sleep Promotes Erectile Health
Poor sleep can lead to sexual dysfunction, which usually presents itself in the form of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.
Getting a good night’s sleep each night is considered fundamental for good health. In fact, a recent study suggested that sleep should be considered a “third pillar of health,” along with a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise.
The above-referenced study also found that erectile dysfunction (ED) can occur as a result of a number of sleep disorders, including:
- obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- insomnia/chronic sleep insufficiency
- circadian rhythm sleep disorders
- restless legs syndrome (RLS)
Consequences of Inadequate Sleep
Further emphasizing the vital importance of good sleep, the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) warns that for men, the consequences of insufficient sleep include:
- Low testosterone
- Erectile dysfunction
Low testosterone and mood disorders are also linked to sexual health issues, so it is no surprise that poor sleep is as well. ASAA points out that sleep is not optional. In order to function properly, bodies need an average of 8 hours of sleep per day.
Better Sleep Month
Better Sleep Month, observed this May 2020, is an initiative of the Better Sleep Council (BSC), which seeks to both increase public awareness about the importance of sleep and the damage caused by poor sleep. In addition to its implications for sexual function, inadequate sleep can lead to:
- mood swings
- reduced concentration
- a weakened immune system
Another consequence of inadequate sleep is increased production of stress hormones, which makes it even more difficult to get a good night’s sleep, thus creating a vicious cycle that’s hard to break.
Healthy Sleep Tips
The National Sleep Foundation says healthy sleep habits, also known as good sleep hygiene, can significantly improve your quality of life. Here are some of the foundation’s recommendations:
- Adhere to a strict sleep schedule with the same bedtime and wake time seven days a week
- Skip afternoon naps
- Exercise daily
- Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight early in the day, thus helping to manage your circadian rhythms
- Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening
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