Sleep apnea causes disrupted breathing in the middle of the night for more than 12 million Americans. Fatigue, high blood pressure and weight gain are some of its more familiar symptoms.
But a growing body of research has also found that sleep apnea can be a drain on intimacy, causing erectile dysfunction in men and loss of libido in women.
Scientists suspect this may have to do with sex hormones like testosterone, which rise with sleep and fall when there is a lack of it. Because it causes intermittent waking and chronic sleep deprivation, apnea may directly drive down levels of these hormones , causing sexual dysfunction.