Poor Sleep Wrecks Your Hormones and Your Libido

Written by Professor Anna Gray, Updated on March 31st, 2024
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Getting a good night’s sleep is literally imperative to having good health and even a good sex life. When you do not get enough hours or even deep enough sleep, almost everything suffers. It’s not normal or healthy to have to rely on caffeine or other stimulants just wake up in the morning or get through your day. Your body is meant to run off of good, deep, restorative sleep. One condition that has been shown to even have a correlation with erectile dysfunction is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea disrupts sleep and wreaks havoc on your hormones, subsequently causing sexual issues down the line.

Sleep Apnea is Correlated with Erectile Dysfunction

Sleep affects your physical, mental and sexual health. It’s critical to having and maintaining a good quality of life, especially as you get older. Throughout the night, your cells and tissues grow and replenish themselves, with cellular turnover, so that your organs and tissues are regenerated and working more efficiently. You’ve probably noticed that if you do not get good sleep, your brain does not function as efficiently as it used to. This causes a whole host of problems.

Scientific studies have actually linked good sleep to healthy sex. Sleep deprivation affects both a person’s mood and their relationships negatively, but it also wrecks your hormones and causes an imbalance, especially with testosterone in men (however, women need just as much good sleep as men, if not more!) In fact, sleep disorders are a leading cause of sexual issues.

One of these sleep disorders is sleep apnea. This one is actually kind of scary because you literally stop breathing all of a sudden in the middle of the night and typically multiple times through the night if the condition is not remedied. Some people do not even fully wake up when this happens, but even if it only sort of wakes the person up, their sleep is still disturbed.

Testosterone Production is Minimal with Poor Sleep

The sex hormone testosterone actually rises after you fall asleep and peaks during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. If you have fragmented sleep, especially from sleep apnea, it’s more likely that you will suffer from erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems. Approximately 4% of men between the ages of 30-60 have experienced erectile dysfunction and it is more common with men who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

So, what is the answer? You need to create a more optimal sleep environment and treat issues like sleep apnea as best that you can. There are devices out there that you can wear while sleeping that keeps you breathing. A term used to describe all the factors that contribute to good sleep is sleep hygiene. Practice good sleep hygiene by following these tips and help to prevent hormone imbalance.

1. Only have light snacks before bedtime, nothing too heavy or fatty.

2. Avoid stimulants, like caffeine, at least 3-4 hours before bedtime or even longer.

3. Try not to nap during the daytime.

4. Exercise on a regular basis but avoid it at least 3 hours before bedtime.

5. Refrain from television and video games before bedtime.

6. Practice relaxation techniques like meditation and meditative yoga or reflection of the day practices.

7. Do not use a television, computer or phone in your bedroom. Only use your bedroom for sleep and not work.

8. Maintain a sleep schedule — going to bed at the same time every night and waking up around the same time.

9. Check with your doctor to make sure that your medications are not contributing to sleep issues.

10. Avoid alcohol before bedtime.

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