Snoring certainly isn’t the sexiest thing one’s partner can do, but could it be actively making a couple’s sex life worse?
A man and his partner would much rather be up all night for something besides blocked nasal passages. But, over the years, laymen and researchers have been searching for a connection between snoring and sexual performance. Thanks to weakening muscles in the airways, men tend to snore more, especially as they get older. Men and their partners looking for better sleep and an improved sex life should address snoring. Is snoring a risk factor for erectile dysfunction? See what the data says.
What is Snoring?
Simply put, blocked airways cause snoring. If nothing foreign is blocking the airways, how does snoring happen? Muscles of the mouth and throat relax too much and don’t allow enough air to pass through. When these muscles, the soft palate, and uvula, vibrate together, that irksome sound is produced. Positioning and drugs, alcohol, or obesity can contribute to the weakness of the uvula and soft palate, resulting in snoring.
How Does Snoring Affect Sex?
It’s logical that snoring might affect sexual function by making the snorer tired and less enthused to perform. Being up all night listening to snoring can create the same effect in the snorer’s partner. This study postulates that the main impact of snoring on sex is that it decreases sexual satisfaction. Researchers used a battery of sexual function questions to conclude that snoring probably does not affect sex biologically. Instead, they believe that snoring strains relationships by diminishing sleep quality and that this ultimately decreases sexual satisfaction.
Besides being too exhausted, couples with a snoring problem often take measures that further decrease the opportunities for sex. Solutions such as sleeping in separate rooms, at staggered times, or on the couch take away from time together in the bedroom.
Snoring and Erectile Dysfunction
For men and women, erectile dysfunction drastically disrupts sex lives. It is something that many fear as they age. Snoring and erectile dysfunction are both challenging health problems that don’t always have clear-cut remedies. This may be why more people are beginning to think they are intertwined.
The American Sleep Apnea Association states that extreme snoring, or sleep apnea, may cause erectile dysfunction. Sleep apnea is a condition that involves obstruction of the airways so severe that breathing actually stops during sleep. This means the brain and circulatory system are not getting the oxygen they need during sleep. By this mechanism, sleep apnea can lead to complications such as high blood pressure and impaired circulation. Without appropriate blood pressure and circulation, men’s sexual organs cannot function properly. This is how snoring can cause erectile dysfunction.
Decrease Snoring to Increase Sexual Satisfaction
What seems like just an annoying quirk in a partner at bedtime could lead to more serious issues in the future. Taking charge of a snoring problem quickly can prevent more complicated side effects.
Being overweight can cause snoring. An accumulation of fat around the face and neck can constrict the airways. Try lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise to keep weight in a reasonable range. This will not only improve the quality of sleep, but the general quality of life (including sex life)!
Changing other habits can decrease snoring, too. Try to quit smoking and limit drinking. Smoking and nasal congestion can block airways, and alcohol relaxes muscles in the throat. Cessation of smoking and moderating alcohol consumption have been shown to improve sleep quality and sex life even in those who don’t snore. If these small steps don’t improve snoring, try more specialized approaches.
Anti-Snoring, Pro-Sex and Rest
Some of the devices offered to reduce snoring don’t look sexy but giving a couple a great night’s sleep will give them the energy needed to enjoy their sex life again. They work by either keeping the jaw from relaxing and blocking airways or by altering the sleeping position. Try chin straps or mouthpieces to keep the mouth stable during sleep. It may take time getting used to anti-snoring products, but when used properly, they can really improve sleep for both parties involved.
Although snoring can lead to erectile dysfunction in some cases, all is not lost for couples with snoring issues. Being aware of the potential adverse outcomes of snoring is a huge first step. Couples should discuss snoring and how it affects them. At the very least, they can do some research and find a solution that both the snorer and the listener can agree on. Even if snoring hasn’t created sexual satisfaction issues yet, nipping a problem earlier can ensure a couple has great sleep and great sex in the future. And who wouldn’t want more of those?
Chief editor here at Snore Nation and a proud father of two cool boys. I am a reformed snorer, a reformed smoker, a reformed overeater, a reformed city dweller and a reformed workaholic stress monster on the mission to share my insider tips to restore that quality sleep for you and your partner!