Poor Sleep Linked to Impotence, Incontinence

Two studies show the links between erectile dysfunction and sleep apnea, and urinary issues and restless nights.

Sleep problems are related with erectile dysfunction and urologic problems like incontinence, as per the results of two recent studies.

Poor Sleep Linked to Impotence

The 1st study evaluated the relationship between erectile dysfunction and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a disorder occurring during sleep in which the upper airway of a person collapses temporarily leading to breathing problems. The study consisted of 870 men with a mean age of 47.3 and mean BMI of 30.2 which is supposed to be obese.

Health screening showed that 63% of men had OSA, 5.6% had diabetic history and 29% had smoking history.

Chronic lack of sleep or problems have been associated to many other health issues such as increased risk of heart disorder, strokes and other conditions like cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. A recent study found that you can age your brain till 7 years by not only getting too little but a lot of sleep. Around 7-9 hours of sleep of a good quality are important for healthy functioning.

After they modified the age and health conditions, the researchers observed that men with ED had a tendency to have OSA twice than those without ED. And the severity of ED is directly proportional to the tendency of having OSA, observed the investigators. The findings show that men with ED should be tested for OSA, said the study authors at Mount Sinai Medical Center, NYC.

The second study showed that sleep problems pave the way for some urologic conditions like lower urinary tract signs, urinary incontinence and nocturia – the need to wake up during night to pass urine.

In New England Research Institute, Inc. in Watertown, Mass., the researchers examined 1610 men and 2535 women for nearly 5 years, testing sleep disturbances and elevation in the urinary symptoms.

The investigators observed that short sleep period among men and restless sleep among women and men was strongly related to the incidence of lower urinary tract symptoms (8% in men and 13 % in women). Occurrence of nocturia and urinary incontinence were linked to restless sleep in women but not in men, as per the researchers.

Both the studies were timed to be presented to the media at a special press conference in the annual meeting at the American Urological Associations, Washington, D.C.

“We very well are aware of the fact that the sufficient amount of sleep and quality of sleep has a wide range of effect on the health conditions which include lower urinary tract signs and erectile dysfunction,” says AUA spokesman Dr. Kevin T. McVary in an association news release. “This information may assist us in a better evaluation of how helping patients alter their sleep patterns may help enhance their health and complete quality of life.

As these studies were shown at the medical meeting, the conclusions and data should be seen as preliminary unless published in a journal which is peer-reviewed.