Snoring and Lack of Sex Drive

Snoring can be serious both medically and socially. Snoring can disrupt marriages and cause sleepless nights for bed partners. Many snorers start sleep in separate bedrooms, and eventually get separated for ever, divorce. Stop snoring and save your marriage, if you are a big snorer.

Medically snoring can be a precursor of obstructive sleep apnea that has been linked to heart failure, high blood pressure and stroke.

Understand snoring and sleep apnea

Snoring is the sound produced by upper airway passage obstruction-Nose-and throat. Vibration of the elongated soft palate and uvula makes the noise.

Sleep Apnea is present when we do not breathe for 10 seconds or longer. This is dangerous. This causes our blood oxygen levels to drop and the carbon dioxide level gets more. This put pressure on the cardiovascular system mainly the heart work more to cope up supplying enough oxygen to brain and other tissues.

This apnea can happen a few times per night or several hundred times per night resulting in no deep sleep and many health problems.

There are two types of sleep apnea: central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea is much less common and is a problem in the regulatory function of the brain or heart. This occurs most frequently in people who have chronic congestive heart failure (COPD), stroke, and prolonged drug users.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is more common and is caused by the physical blockage of the airway at night by the tissue in the back of the throat collapsing to block the airway. This keep oxygen from getting to the lungs as the muscles and thus tissue relax in the throat as you sleep combined with the force of gravity causing the tongue to fall back and block the airway when you lay down. More so in obese patients who has lot of fat deposition in the neck.

Snoring can be serious both medically and socially. Snoring can disrupt marriages and cause sleepless nights for bed partners.

Medically snoring can be a precursor of obstructive sleep apnea that has been linked to heart failure, high blood pressure and stroke.

Often people with large necks, overweight and large uvula and soft palate or nasal congestion or all of the above can be more likely to die in their sleep as their heart disease advances since the heart is already compromised.( Silent death while at sleep) These are people who you hear of having a heart attack in their sleep.

People with untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea suffer from daytime fatigue, sleepiness and irritability. Additionally they have higher rates of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, depression and erectile dysfunction. Often people with severe untreated sleep apnea will fall asleep at a stop light or dose off (micro sleep) for a moment while driving, sometimes causing them to swerve or lose control of their car causing Road traffic accidents.

The daytime fatigue associated with the lack of quality sleep can affect your job performance, memory loss, affect your ability to concentrate make you irritable and affect your relationships. These affect more in people who should be more alert in their jobs, like pilots, IT professionals, Golfers etc.

Take it serious if you have the following signs-

• Snoring interrupted by a pause in breathing and then gasping (sudden intake of air)

• Daytime Fatigue and ay time sleepiness

• Loud Snoring

• Trouble with concentrating, poor memory, depression, irritability, or loss of sex drive

• Headaches, frequent nighttime urination, dry mouth, sore throat.

Diagnosis

1- Good history from the spouse. Some bed partners come with voice recording of their spouse snoring.

2- Full ENT examination including fibre optic flexible naso pharyngo laryngoscopy in the clinic

3- MRI or CT scan to see the site of obstruction

4- Sleep lab study-Polysomnogram

5- Cardiac check up

6- .Preanasethetic check up

Treatment

1. Weight reduction

2. stop alcohol, sedatives, sleeping pills

3. Treatment for nasal allergy, High BP, Diabetes etc if associated with it.

4. CPAP-can be tried, but most patients not happy to use it, cumbersome and expensive.

5. Surgical treatment-laser or Coblator surgery

6. (please check-search this site for articles on different modalities of surgical treatment)

Does Snoring and sleep apnea causes lack of sex drive?

Yes

Lack of sleep is one of the biggest killers of sex drive. After all, if you start snoring as soon as you get to bed, you are not likely to have a very active sex life.

Sleep apnea patients get less Oxygen to the brain and the hypothalamus, affects the hormone levels, leading to poor sex drive.

Try and get rid of whatever it is that is interfering with your sleep patterns, because sleeping too little gives you fatigue and cannot perform well.

A number of psychological and physiological factors can also have a major impact on your libido.

Other causes of poor sex drive

Stress and Relationship problems

Stress at the workplace, financial troubles, a sick family member, or simply a hectic lifestyle with poor eating habits can take a toll on your sex life. You and your partner can seek counseling from a psychologist; learn techniques for managing stress, and work towards having a better lifestyle, if its stress that’s wreaking havoc with your sex life.

Emotional closeness plays a major role in sexual passion, particularly for women. Poor communication, infidelity, constant arguments, and other relationship-breakers need to be eliminated before mutual sexual desire can be regained.

Depression

Depression is a double-edged sword because it saps sex drive, while antidepressants do so too. Seeking treatment for clinical depression is necessary; you can deal with the low libido once the depression is under control.

Alcohol

Alcohol is cerebral depressant. If you always require a couple of drinks before you can get in the mood for sex, there’s something seriously wrong with your sex life. Alcohol is commonly perceived as an aphrodisiac that breaks down barriers and inhibitions before sex, but all it actually does is numb your libido in the long term. Getting drunk might even put off your partner and you might end up having lousy sex.

Medication

Loss of libido is a side effect that accompanies a number of medications- antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure drugs, oral contraceptives, finasteride etc.

Obesity

Obesity is directly related to lack of sexual desire and poor sexual performance. The causes for this are usually linked to social stigma, low self-esteem, unsatisfactory relationships and simply difficulties in having sex. Losing weight can certainly lead to better sex.

Erectile dysfunction and Low testosterone level

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a medical condition characterized by a restricted flow of blood to the penis, thus leading to difficulties in getting or retaining a satisfactory erection. Men suffering from ED are likely to worry about their sexual performance and kill their sex drive. Medications such as Sildenafil citrate will help these patients.

The amount of testosterone in your body determines the level of your sex drive. If your testosterone levels dip too low, your libido is likely to decline. Testosterone therapy is recommended for boosting your sex drive.