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Can Lack of Sleep Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

A man with a sleep disorder rubbing his eyes

We all live fast-paced lives that don’t always leave room for enough sleep. Sometimes this lack of sleep can cause erectile dysfunction and even disturb our sexual lives. If you’re facing this problem too, keep reading as we explore the link between sleep disorders and erectile dysfunction and offer solutions to overcome them.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. However, studies show that over one-fourth of adults do not get this much sleep.

The stressors of life and work are mainly to blame here. This lack of sleep can not only cause erectile dysfunction but contribute to other health conditions such as:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Heart disease

How Does Lack of Sleep Affect Sex?

Your sex life doesn’t escape the side effects of sleep deprivation. Here are some ways that lack of sleep affects your sexual health.

Higher Stress Hormones

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more stress hormones than sex hormones. Your cortisol and adrenaline levels rise, putting you in fight-or-flight mode. This response comes with anxious thoughts that keep you awake and make you lose interest in sex. 

Lower Testosterone 

One way lack of sleep can cause erectile dysfunction is by reducing your testosterone levels. Your testosterone production peaks during sleep and plateaus at around 90 minutes. When you wake up, this level falls. Insufficient sleep can disrupt this cycle and hurt your sex life.

Low Libido

Sleep disorders and erectile dysfunction are also connected to low libido. This disinterest in sex is due to lower testosterone levels from insufficient sleep. Dealing with differences in libido can distance you from your partner. One study shows that the desire for sex increases by 14% with every additional hour of sleep.


Lack of sleep can not only cause erectile dysfunction in men, but it can also increase the risk of infertility. This reproduction issue arises from lower testosterone levels. Testosterone is necessary for sperm production, and those who don’t get enough sleep will not produce enough sperm. Plus, lower testosterone can also decrease the quality of existing sperm.


Sleep deprivation can also ruin your sex life by making you tired and sleepy. This exhaustion will put you in a bad mood, cause conflict in your relationship, and contribute to ED. In the end, you will be too tired and irritable to want to have sex. 

Erectile Dysfunction

Lastly, lack of sleep can disrupt your sex life by causing erectile dysfunction. ED prevents you from getting or maintaining an erection to have satisfying intercourse. More than 30 million people suffer from ED, which can be due to physical or psychological reasons. Sleep deprivation can contribute to both, but it has a more direct link to ED. 

Sleep Disorders and Erectile Dysfunction

A man with insomnia sitting on a bed

There are several ways through which sleep disorders can cause ED. Let’s start with the most important one. 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Research shows that most men with obstructive sleep apnea also deal with erectile dysfunction. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the inability to breathe properly during sleep. The lack of oxygen in the brain wakes the individual up to breathe again. 

One possible reason that lack of sleep can cause erectile dysfunction in men with OSA is that their testosterone levels drop. As we mentioned, testosterone is a sleep-dependent hormone. You disrupt your endocrine system and testosterone production when you wake up in the middle of the night from OSA to breathe. Lower testosterone is a contributor to ED.

OSA can also lead to fatigue and depression. These side effects can affect your daily life negatively and put you in a bad mood, leading to erectile dysfunction and a dissatisfactory sex life.


Lack of sleep from insomnia can also cause erectile dysfunction. A study of prostate cancer patients showed that symptoms of insomnia caused difficulty in orgasm. Plus, evidence shows that men with insomnia experience hypogonadism more than others. This condition occurs when the testes can’t produce enough sex hormones to maintain an erection. 

Circadian Rhythm Dysfunction

Another way sleep disorders and erectile dysfunction connect is through circadian rhythm dysfunction. This condition occurs when someone has difficulty falling or staying asleep. Waking up too early and the inability to fall back to sleep is also in this sleep disorder. 

Not getting enough REM sleep can negatively affect the libido. Plus, lack of sleep can cause erectile dysfunction in men with circadian rhythm dysfunction through hypogonadism. 

The Positive Relationship Between Sex and Sleep

Just as sleep deprivation can cause ED, an active sex life can help you sleep better. That is why erectile dysfunction self-care is so important. During sex, your body releases hormones like oxytocin and prolactin, which reduce anxiety and induce sleepiness. Reaching orgasm through masturbation also has the same benefits.

How to Sleep Better

A healthy daily routine can prepare you for a good night of sleep. Now that you know a lack of sleep can cause erectile dysfunction, you can use the following tips to improve your sleep habits and avoid ED:

  • While caffeine can’t cause ED, it can keep you awake and alert. So lay off caffeine at least 6 hours before your bedtime. 
  • Create a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
  • Establish a calming bedtime routine away from electronics. You can read a book, take a bath, and listen to relaxing music. 
  • Create the ideal bedtime conditions by keeping your bedroom dark and cool. 
  • If you have severe sleep disorders, visit a doctor for professional treatment. 

Reclaim Your Sex Life With RX Sleeve

A man and a woman sleeping together on a bed

It’s true that a lack of sleep can cause erectile dysfunction, so take steps to improve your sleep schedule and fight ED. You don’t have to face sleep disorders and erectile dysfunction alone; RX Sleeve is here to help. We offer comfortable and realistic-looking penis sleeves that will allow you to experience pleasure again. Each RX Sleeve has a unique shape and size to match your needs and comes with discreet shipping.

Shop now to reclaim your sex life. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, and visit our blog to learn more about men’s sexual health topics.

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