Almost everyone feels better after a good night’s sleep, and many men report that feeling tired or fatigued can sometimes impact their sexual performance, but is there a reason for lack of sleep to impact penis health? Several studies have indicated that the answer is affirmative; now some animal studies are looking more closely into specific reasons why penis health might have a connection to sleep or the lack thereof.
One such study is in the January 2019 edition of the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Entitled “Impact of Sleep Deprivation on the Hypothalmic-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis and Erectile Tissue,” it used male rats as its subjects. (Animal studies are typically used in order to test initial hypotheses or better understanding learnings from basic science.)
A total of 56 rats were used, but they were treated in segments. The first 16 rats were deprived of sleep for 72 continuous hours (three days); a second group of 16 rats were chosen as controls, and their sleep patterns were not interfered with at all. Various markers associated with hypogonadism were measured. (Hypogonadism is the term used to describe a situation in which the body doesn’t produce sufficient sex hormones. Hypogonadism may result due to a problem with the gonads themselves, or because the hypothalamus and/or the pituitary glands, which control the gonads, aren’t working.)
In addition, another 24 rats were divided into 3 groups of 8. One group was a control group; one group was sleep deprived and one group was sleep deprived and was also given testosterone supplementation.
Essentially, the study showed that sleep deprivation in rates did indeed bring about hypogonadism. Those rats in the control group had normal markers; those who were sleep deprived were severely lacking in testosterone. (The group that was both sleep deprived and given testosterone supplementation did have testosterone levels similar to the control group.) The lack of sleep also dampened the production of nitric oxide, which is needed to keep penile blood vessels expanded during sexual phases.
These results back up results from earlier studies that looked at sleep deprivation and sexual issues in rats. One, “Effect of sleep deprivation on the male reproductive system in rats,” found that lack of sleep greatly decreased sperm motility (that is, how well and quickly sperm move and swim) in rats.
All of these studies are looking at actual sleep deprivation – going without sleep for 3 days. Clearly, such results would likely not occur in the same way in a subject who gets sleep, but not enough – say, only 3 or 4 hours of sleep each night. But the studies do suggest that cumulatively and over time, getting too little sleep can result in decreased testosterone and in subsequent penis health issues.
Men who get insufficient sleep should take steps to correct this issue. In some cases, there are some simple lifestyle changes that can help such as:
– Limiting intake of caffeine in the latter part of the day
– Avoiding computer use near bedtime
– Making the sleep space inviting (appropriate temperature, sufficient darkness, comfortable mattress, etc.)
– Being consistent with bedtimes and wake-up times
– Getting an appropriate amount of exercise during the day
In some cases, a person may need the help of a medical professional in assessing sleep issues and determining possible solutions.
Lack of sleep is not the only cause of penis health issues, so to be better prepared, a man should regularly apply a first class penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) to his manhood. The most effective cremes will include L-arginine, an amino acid which helps produce nitric oxide, which in turns keeps penile blood vessels open. The crème should also include moisturizers such as shea butter and vitamin E to keep penis skin healthy; itchy penis skin can disrupt a good night’s sleep.