When you’re not getting enough quality sleep, it messes not only with your overall health but also your libido and sexual function. Although sleep deprivation does not directly cause erectile dysfunction, insufficient sleep can contribute to the impairment of your ability to achieve penile tumescence.
Of course, your sexual health isn’t the only thing that lack of sleep adversely affects. Your fertility is also negatively impacted since your testosterone levels also decline when you’re sleep-deprived. Learn more about how not sleeping well negatively affects your health.
Reduced Testosterone Levels
There’s a rhythm to the way your body produces testosterone. Testosterone production does happen all throughout the day, but optimal production of the primary male sex hormone actually happens during your sleep.
In fact, you need to be in a deep sleep for at least three hours in order for your testosterone production to peak. This means that if you get interrupted after having slept for only an hour or two, your testosterone production rhythm also gets disrupted.
Several studies have shown that in men who are chronically sleep-deprived, their testosterone levels tend to be much lower than men who are well-rested. That means you should aim for at least seven hours of quality sleep every day to keep your testosterone levels high.
Since testosterone is essential for regulating your libido, when your testosterone levels decline, your desire for sex also decreases. Even just a night of insufficient sleep can already result in a noticeable reduction in your libido the next day.
On the other hand, a longer sleep duration can do wonders for your libido. In fact, getting more hours of sleep is associated with a significant increase in desire for partnered sex.
Impaired Sexual Function
Whether you’re sleep-deprived or you always get interrupted in your sleep, not enough quality sleep can negatively affect your sexual function. In men with sleep apnea, for example, a lack of quality sleep is associated with erectile dysfunction. As many as 70% of men with sleep apnea have problems with achieving erections.
Women also suffer from sexual dysfunction when they don’t get enough deep sleep. If sleep-deprived men are having problems with their erectile function, sleep-deprived women suffer from a reduced vaginal lubrication. This can make sex less pleasurable and even painful.
Weakened Immune System
When you’re not getting enough shut-eye, it can cause your immune system to weaken. Your body’s ability to combat diseases and infections also gets drastically reduced. Your body produces fewer lymphocytes when you lack sleep, which is a problem because you need a lot of lymphocytes to fight off diseases.
In addition, studies have shown that inflammatory agents increase when you’re not getting sufficient sleep. Inflammation can lead to various serious conditions such as atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.
Increased Risks Of Heart Diseases
The hours of sleep you get can affect your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and inflammation levels. If you’re getting enough quality sleep, your body is able to repair damages to your blood vessels and heart. But if you’re not sleeping well, your blood pressure and blood sugar levels rise, putting you at risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases.
In fact, scientists have established that there’s a close link between insomnia and heart diseases. Moreover, myocardial infarction and stroke are more common in people with insomnia. Both sleep loss and nonrestorative sleep are associated with higher risks for stroke, heart diseases, and even death due to cardiovascular diseases.
If you develop hypertension due to sleep deprivation, your erectile function may also get affected in the long run. High blood pressure can actually damage your small blood vessels such as the ones that deliver blood to your penis. In fact, erectile dysfunction is a common problem among men with chronic high blood pressure.
Increased Risks of Diabetes
Insufficient sleep can also lead to higher risks of diabetes. Sleep deprivation is actually considered as one of the modifiable risk factors for diabetes mellitus type 2. When you’re not getting enough restorative sleep, your body reacts as if you have a high insulin resistance.
This means that instead of using insulin to deliver glucose from your blood to your cells, your body is resisting the actions of insulin. Hence, glucose stays in your bloodstream, resulting in high blood sugar levels.
Diabetes is something you should watch out for since it’s one of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction. When you’re diabetic, your blood vessels and nerves get damaged, negatively affecting your ability to initiate an erection.
Increased Risks Of Depression
There exists an extremely complicated relationship between anxiety, depression, and sleep. When you’re always lacking sleep, it can make you vulnerable to anxiety and depression. On the one hand, when you’re anxious or depressed, you find it difficult to fall asleep.
People with insomnia, for instance, are ten times more likely to develop clinical depression, and their chances of developing clinical anxiety are even higher. For people with sleep apnea, the likelihood of developing clinical depression are lower than those with insomnia but significantly higher compared to those who sleep normally.
Both anxiety and depression are also related to lower libido and impaired sexual function. In fact, depression is a known cause of erectile dysfunction. Likewise, erectile dysfunction is also known to contribute to depression and anxiety.
How To Increase Your Desire For Sex
Some popular male sex enhancement supplements offer an excellent way for you to increase your desire for sex naturally. They contain natural ingredients that not only increase your testosterone levels but also dramatically improve your libido.
These are also great for enhancing erectile function. In fact, the herbs contained in natural male sex enhancement supplements are all popularly used in traditional medicine for treating impotence and increasing sexual virility. For example, it contains Tribulus terrestris, which is a popular Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine treatment for male sexual concerns.
It also contains maca, another pro-erectile herb that has been used for centuries to improve sexual performance. Horny goat weed is another erection-booster and libido-enhancer that’s contained in these supplements.