The ill effects of sleep apnea on your sex life
Aug 22, 2012, 9:44 a.m.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder that affects millions of people. It's typically characterized by loud snoring and restless sleep that comes as a result of unnaturally shallow breathing during the night. In some cases, people with sleep apnea may stop breathing for as many as 10 to 20 seconds at a time. Although it's infrequently life threatening, the effects of sleep apnea can take a serious toll on your life if gone untreated. In many cases, it can even lead to a bad sex life.
Okay, so how can something that happens when you're asleep (or trying to sleep) impact your sex life? That's easy enough to answer. Sleep apnea can lead to extreme fatigue, because the sufferer usually ends up tossing and turning all night and not getting enough oxygen intake. As a result, that fatigue that you carry with you throughout your waking hours can have a devastating toll on your sex life.
So what can you do? Lots, actually.
Lose weight. Sleep apnea typically affects people who are overweight or morbidly obese, but the good news is that losing weight is an effective cure-all against it.
Get a CPAP. This stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. Basically, it's a mask you wear over your face when you're sleeping that continuously pumps air down your throat, preventing it from constricting and blocking off airflow.
Get an acrylic mouth guard. These devices are a little less uncomfortable than CPAPs and work well to keep your airway open at night, preventing sleep apnea from occurring.
If you're experiencing a bad sex life (or an entirely absent sex life) due to the effects of sleep apnea, it's important to know that this doesn't have to be the case. There are steps you can take that will not only keep you and your partner satisfied, but that will also ensure you've got the energy necessary to take advantage of all of life's pleasures -- not just sexual ones.
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