How Can Sleep Affect Men’s Health?

How Can Sleep Affect Men’s Health?

With regards to specific effects of sleep on men’s health, dysfunctional sleeping patterns have been shown to impact erectile dysfunction, lower urinary tract symptoms, hypogonadal symptoms, low testosterone, and male infertility.

What is considered to be appropriate sleep?

The average number of hours of sleep required for an adult is between 7–9 for optimal health. However, a considerable number of adults do not meet this requirement.

A study conducted in 2012 demonstrated that 29.2% of men achieved an average of 6 hours or less of sleep each evening. the institute of Medicine further estimates that between 50 and 70 million Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder; this epidemic is associated with societal changes which include increased reliance on technology, increased working hours, and poor sleep hygiene.

In addition, non-standard shift working patterns can divulge significantly from circadian patterns which further increases the risk of impaired sleep quality.

The interrelationship between disrupted or inadequate sleep and the manifestation of disease

The relationship between health and sleep is bi-directional. There are several medical conditions associated with inadequate or disrupted sleep which include restless leg syndrome, insomnia, hypogonadism, sleep apnea, and depression.

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Furthermore, several studies have revealed that short and sleep or disrupted sleep can produce health conditions including diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, heart attacks, stroke, and several endocrine and cardiovascular disorders. Moreover, poor sleep also impacts the patients’ perception of symptoms and their severity alongside the clinical responses observed.

Combined with independent risk factors such as age, body mass in tax, mental health conditions that affect the perception of symptoms such as depression, and clinical characteristics, sleep functioning can moderate clinical symptoms and impact the quality of life experienced by patients.

Sleep and erectile dysfunction

In the general population, longitudinal studies have revealed that approximately 50% of men experienced erectile dysfunction to some degree.

Several studies have reported that sleep can affect erectile dysfunction. For example, a cross-sectional analysis of 2676 men over the age of 67 found that those with a sleep dysfunction called nocturnal hypoxemia were more likely to experience moderate or complete erectile dysfunction.

Sleep and lower urinary tract symptoms

Aging male populations commonly experience lower urinary tract symptoms. This is frequently associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy. Symptoms include poor urine stream, incomplete emptying of the bladder, straining, changes to the frequency of urination, urination hesitancy, and nocturia.

The urge to urinate is often exacerbated during the night, which leads to disrupted sleep and a decrease in overall sleep quality.

A survey conducted on 5335 men who were diagnosed with lower urinary tract symptoms demonstrated that only 13% reported continuous sleep periods of more than two to three hours, illustrating the degree to which urinary tract symptoms can affect sleep.

Other studies have verified an association between lower urinary tract symptoms and other sleep-affecting conditions.

For example, men with obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to experience urinary tract symptoms compared to those who do not.

The severity of obstructive sleep apnea in this context has been found to correlate the most strongly with daytime frequency, urgency, and frequency of nocturia.

CPAP machines have been found to reduce lower urinary tract symptoms in those with obstructive sleep apnea. For example, a man with both lower urinary tract symptoms and obstructive sleep apnea who implemented CPAP for 12 months showed a significant increase in bladder compliance, as well as decreases in nocturia frequency and nighttime urination volumes.

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