Snoring --The Connection Between
Snoring and Erections

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December 1, 2009, last updated June 21, 2012
By Editors, MangoBoss

Snoring is not just a night time annoyance. It is a serious health
problem which can also put you at risk for developing erectile

An estimated 105 to 175 million people in the US  and Europe suffer
from snoring.  Snoring is the sound produced from any kind of
obstruction in the airways when you sleep.  Technically, snoring does
not cause any health concerns.  But a significant percentage of those
who snore loudly enough to be heard outside the room --  so-called
"heroic snoring" --also stop breathing many times during the night.  
The syndrome in which you stop breathing, for periods lasting as long
as 15 seconds, is called obstructive sleep apnea.  People who snore put
themselves at high risk for developing sleep apnea.  How? Each time
you snore, you risk lengthening the soft palate, which can obstruct

Snoring of this type drops your oxygen intake while you sleep.

So what does oxygen intake have to do with erections? Everything.

The connection between snoring and erectile dysfunction leads through
a tiny piece of tissue in your throat called the carotid body. This tiny
piece of tissue is responsible for sensing oxygen levels. Think of it as
the oxygen police.

Without oxygen-rich blood you can not produce an erection.  When the
body is deprived of oxygen ---as occurs in a high percentage of snorers
with sleep apnea-- an alarm goes off.  A study conducted by Case
Western University demonstrated that, whenever your oxygen levels
drop off at night --which can occur when you snore-- the carotid body
sends an alarm though out your body.

A 2012 study from Universidade do Porto in Portugal found that 64%
of men who suffer from sleep apnea also have erectile dysfunction.  
That's almost 2 out of 3.

One of the reasons that sleep apnea affects your erections is that
interrupted sleep raises your blood pressure. When your body is
deprived of oxygen, it raised an alarm.  Your body answers this alarm
by raising your blood pressure.  This causes hypertension. And, as we
have written before, hypertension is the Number One cause of erectile
dysfunction. (Read more about
foods that lower your blood pressure.)

Further proof of the connection between oxygen intake and erectile
dysfunction comes from studies involving drugs to treat ED.  Erectile
dysfunction (ED) affects 60% to 70% of heart failure clinic outpatients,
according to a study published in 2002 by the American Heart
Association.  And drugs which improved erectile dysfunction in cardiac
failure patients also increased the body's ability to take in oxygen.

Article Continues below.

In 2004, a study published in the March Issue of the Journal of Urology
determined that 50% of those who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea
did not experience morning erections.  Remember, 50% of heavy
snorers experience this type of obstructive sleep apnea in which they
stop breathing for about 15 seconds many times during the night.  An
earlier study published in the May 2001 by the American College of
Maxillofacial Surgeons also found that 50% of snorers with obstructive
sleep apnea also had erectile dysfunction.

Clearly, your body's ability to take in oxygen affects the quality of your
erections.  And, anything which decreases your body's ability to take in
oxygen-- measured by the a number called the VCO2 coefficient--  also
decreases your ability to sustain an erection.

Snoring decreases your oxygen intake.  As a result, there is an indirect
but powerful connection between snoring and your risk of developing
erectile dysfunction.

But many people who snore have no clue that they do. They wake
themselves up dozens of times during the night but are not aware of it.
One clue that you may suffer from this snoring-related sleep disruption
is that you feel drowsy and exhausted the next day, even after you
think you've been asleep all night.

People who snore have higher risk for developing ED, high blood
pressure, heart attacks and
stroke.  If you snoring-related sleep apnea,
you are about three times as likely to die from a heart attack in the
middle of the night as the general population, according to a study in
the March 24 New England Journal of Medicine. "The consequences of
this intermittent [oxygen deprivation], if it persists for years, can be
very drastic," says physiologist Nanduri R. Prabhakar of Case Western
Reserve University.

Here's the bottom line. Your erections are like any other part of your
body. You have to take care of your general health to take care of your
erectile health. They are inextricably linked.  You have to guard your
erectile function by avoiding obesity, doing regular right exercises and,
perhaps most critically, doing everything you can on your own to keep
your night time oxygen high ---- which means you have to
stop snoring.


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