What happens in bed, stays in bed

Men’s sleep apnea found alongside erectile problems:

Men who are sound sleepers have better sex lives.
A study published in a recent edition of Urology says men who suffer from sleep apnea syndrome also suffer a high rate of erectile dysfunction.
One theory, Dr. Atwood said, suggests that sleep apnea disrupts rapid-eye-movement or REM sleep — a time when men routinely experience erections. Decreased REM sleep means fewer REM erections.
The possibility exists, he said, that REM erections are a necessary process for men to maintain healthy sexual function.

(Hat-tip: Insulin Resistance)

9 responses to “What happens in bed, stays in bed

  1. Interesting, but I wonder if there isn’t a lot of confounding here. i.e. sleep apnea is related to obesity which is related to diabetes which is related to vascular disease …
    Maybe the problem isn’t sleep apnea; maybe it’s all the other problems that these guys have which are already known to cause ED. I’d be interested in seeing the actual study.

  2. Man, damned if you do, damned if you don’t… apparently men who share a bed have more disturbed sleep and attendant cognitive difficulties. So, logically, sharing a bed with someone means you can’t have sex with them?

  3. While more obese folks have sleep apnea, there is no direct correlation. Many slim and slender folks suffer from sleep apnea. However, many apnea sufferers have comented on increased sexual activity when they have brought their apnea under control using CPAP machines.

  4. Jess: There is some evidence that the custom of sleeping apart in some cultures may, in fact, lead to marriages that both partners feel better about. Some customs would have entire different apartments within the same household for spouses, with clear division of household labour and responsibility. This allows the privacy and self-determination some people need, with all the benefits of living as a couple.
    That is, you still get to get your groove on, it’s just that one arranges to meet in the other’s boudoir once the kids have gone to bed or whatever. If you want to spend a few hours reading in bed, or will be disturbed by early-risers, you have your own bed to get the kind of rest you need.
    Those old movies showing married couples sharing a room with two single beds (pushed together on occasion) or having entire separate bedrooms for sleeping in were showing something more than an idealized sanitized never-world. It was actually how some (admittedly, more monied) folks lived.
    I can see the benefits of a long-term relationship with such an arrangement.

  5. Haven’t read the article, but could it have anything to do with NO? (Nitrous oxide – not the word – otherwise no-one would be getting any sex at all!). NO can act as a pulmonary vasodilator, as well as the mediator for vasodilatation in the penis. Maybe in sleep apnoea patients there’s a defect in the production of NO (or all the synthase activity is being used up elsewhere?).

  6. I have not seen the actual study yet, but it appears that all hey found is strong correlation. As we know, correlation does not equal causation. So, I first thought about possible common causes for both problems and, apart from obesity and diebetes, the first thing that came to my mind was NO. So, does V**gra help with sleep apnea?

  7. Good sleep is good for your health and feeling of well-being. Poor sleep is bad for these same things. You would expect a correlation between good sex and good health and a feeling of well-being. It does not seem like a mystery to me. If it had come up the other way round – that would be a surprise.

  8. Nothing to add scientifically other than the fact that I felt very uncomfortable in the nether regions with the context in which you wrote, “snip.” I’m afraid that such a procedure lies in my future, although I’m not sure it would really make a vas deferens.
    Okay, okay…one scientific thing to help out Shane – the inhaled therapeutic, nitrous oxide, goes by N2O (haven’t figured how to do subscripts in HTML). Nitric oxide, NO, is the active vasodilatory metabolite of nitrous oxide.

  9. Yup – thanks. I read the comment too fast to notice myself.