Archive for the ‘sleep disorders’ Category

10 Reasons That Sex Contributes to Good Health

June 1, 2014

On so many occasions many of my male and female patients have indicated that as they reach middle age, that sexual intimacy has taken a back seat and is less important than it was years ago. For this blog, I would like to illuminate 10 reasons to take the sex drive off the back shelf and put it on the front burner. Both you and your partner will be glad you did.
Sex not only feels good. It can also be good for you. Here’s what a healthy sex life can do for you.
1. Revs Up Your Immune System Humming
Sexually active people miss fewer days of work and make fewer visits to the doctor.
People who have sex have higher levels of what defends your body against germs, viruses, and other foreign substances. Researchers found that those men and women who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of the a certain antibody compared to those who had sex less often.
You should still do all the other things that make your immune system happy, such as:
Eat right.
Stay active.
Get enough sleep.
Keep up with your vaccinations.
Use a condom if you don’t know you and your partner’s STD status.
2. Boosts Your Libido
Having sex will make sex better and will improve your libido.
For women, having sex increases vaginal lubrication, blood flow to the pelvis, and elasticity of the vagina, all of which make sex feel better and help you crave more of it.
3. Improves Women’s Bladder Control
A strong pelvic floor is important for avoiding incontinence, involuntary loss of urine, something that will affect about 30% of women at some point in their lives.
Good sex is like a workout for your pelvic floor muscles. When you have an orgasm, it causes contractions in those muscles, which strengthens them.
4. Lowers Your Blood Pressure
Research suggests a link between sex and lower blood pressure. Numerous studies have reported that sexual intercourse lowered systolic blood pressure, the first or top number on your blood pressure test.
5. Counts as Exercise
Sex is a really great form of aerobic exercise. It won’t replace the treadmill, but it counts for a short cardio workout.
Sex uses about five calories per minute, four more calories than watching TV! It bumps up your heart rate.
So get busy! You may even want to clear your schedule to make time for it on a regular basis. Consistency or regular sex helps maximize the benefits.
6. Lowers Heart Attack Risk
A good sex life is good for your heart. Besides being a great way to raise your heart rate and provide you with a cardio workout more fun than spinning, sex helps keep your estrogen levels in women and testosterone levels in men in balance.
When either one of those is low you begin to get lots of problems, like osteoporosis and even heart disease.
Having sex more often may help. During one study, men who had sex at least twice a week were half as likely to die of heart disease than the less sexually active men who had sex rarely.
7. Lessens Pain
Before you reach for an aspirin, ibuprofen or a pain pill, try an orgasm.
An orgasm can block pain by releasing endorphins which are much more powerful than morphine. Orgasm releases endorphins that helps raise your pain threshold.
Stimulation without orgasm can also be effective. Vaginal stimulation can block chronic back and leg pain, and many women report that genital self-stimulation can reduce menstrual cramps, arthritic pain, and in some cases even headache.
8. Send Big “C” Out To Sea
Going for the sexual homerun or orgasm may help ward off prostate cancer.
The prestigious the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that men who ejaculated frequently (at least 21 times a month) were less likely to get prostate cancer.
You don’t need a partner to reap this benefit: Sexual intercourse, nocturnal emission, and masturbation were all part of the equation.
9. Improves Sleep
You may nod off more quickly after sex, and for good reason.
After orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released, which is responsible for the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness after sex.
10. Eases Stress
Being close to your partner can soothe stress and anxiety.
Even touching and hugging can release your body’s natural feel-good hormones. Sexual arousal releases a brain chemical that revs up your brain’s pleasure and reward system.
Sex and intimacy can boost your self-esteem and happiness, too,
Bottom Line: Who would have “thunk” that sex is good for you and can help keep you healthy and well. As my wise Jewish mother, St. Sara, would say, “It may not help but it voidn’t hoit!” Rest in peace St. Sara.

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Not Enough Sleep Can Lead To Not Enough Sex

August 17, 2012
Sleep Apnea

Appearance Of A Man With Sleep Apnea

Sleep sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. A new study found that erectile dysfunction (ED) is common in patients with sleep apnea.

The study consisted of 92 men with newly diagnosed sleep apnea. 43% of men had ED before treatment with continued positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. There was significant improvement in the men’s ability to engage in sexual intimacy after treatment with the CPAP: a 54% improvement in men with mild ED, 30% improvement in men with moderate ED, and 25% improvement in men with severe ED.

There is a possibility that treatment with the CPAP increases oxygen in the blood stream at night and that better, more complete sleep improves energy and even sex drive or libido.

Bottom Line: If you are suffering from ED and if your partner notices that you are snoring or stop breathing for a few seconds or minutes at night, you may have sleep apnea. This diagnosis can be confirmed in a sleep lab and treatment with a CPAP device is much better than Viagra for sleep apnea. See your doctor and happy dreams!

Sleep Hygiene-How to Get a Good Night of Z’s

November 11, 2011

More than half of men and women over the age of 65 years complain of a sleep problem. Many middle age and older people sleep less, wake up multiple times a night, and end up not feeling rested in the morning. This article will discuss the common causes of sleep disorders and how to restore a good nights sleep by practicing good sleep hygiene.

Causes Sleep Problems
Several factors may contribute to the inability to sleep well as we get older. Some common causes include:
Probably the most common cause of sleep disorders is poor sleep habits which is often referred to as poor sleep hygeine. Examples include the consumption of alcohol and caffeine shortly before bedtime, increased wakeful time in bed, or late afternoon napping, can also affect a person’s ability to sleep. One of the causes that so many of us don’t recognize as a factor includes overstimulation with late-night activities such as television. The evening news is not meant to put you to sleep but to stimulate you and as a result you may experience insomnia.
There are medications, such as the use of diuretics or water pills that may impair a person’s ability to fall asleep or stay asleep and may even stimulate wakefulness at night. There are also medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and depression that are frequently accompanied by difficulty with sleep. Finally there are sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndromes causing sleep problems.

Restoring Good Sleep Hygiene
Begin by having a fixed bedtime and an awakening time. The body “gets used” to falling asleep at a certain time, but only if this is relatively fixed. Even if you are retired or not working, this is an essential component of good sleep habits.


Avoid napping during the day. It is natural to feel sleepy at the end of the afternoon. Avoid the temptation to take a nap at this time as you will certainly have a problem getting to sleep at night. If you do take a late afternoon nap, limit the nap to 30-45 minutes or avoid going into a deep sleep where you start dreaming as this will certainly impair your ability to fall asleep a few hours after your nap.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime. Many people believe that alcohol helps them sleep. While alcohol has an immediate sleep-inducing effect, a few hours later as the alcohol levels in your blood start to fall, there is a stimulant or wake-up effect.


Exercise regularly, but not right before bed. Regular exercise, particularly in the afternoon, can help deepen sleep. Strenuous exercise within the 2 hours before bedtime, however, can decrease your ability to fall asleep.

Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated. If your bedroom is too cold or too hot, it can keep you awake. A cool (not cold) bedroom is often the most conducive to sleep.


Block out all distracting noise, and eliminate as much light as possible.
 Use blackout curtains to keep the room dark and avoid sunlight entering the room early in the morning.

The bed should be only for sex and sleep. Don’t use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room. Let your body associate the bed with sleeping and not working.

Try a light snack before bed. Warm milk and foods high in the amino acid tryptophan, such as bananas, may help you to sleep.


If possible, don’t take your worries to bed. Leave your worries about job, school, daily life, etc., behind when you go to bed.

Establish a pre-sleep ritual. Pre-sleep rituals, such as a warm bath or a few minutes of reading, can help you sleep.
 Avoid thrillers or reading that may stimulate your brain making it difficult to get to sleep.

When all else fails, if you don’t fall asleep within 15-30 minutes, get up, go into another room, and read until sleepy. Most people wake up one or two times a night for various reasons. If you find that you get up in the middle of night and cannot get back to sleep within 15-20 minutes, then do not remain in the bed “trying hard” to sleep. Get out of bed. Leave the bedroom. Read, have a light snack, do some quiet activity, or take a bath. You will generally find that you can get back to sleep 20 minutes or so later.

Bottom Line: Good sleep is part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Practicing good hygiene is part of being able to get to sleep and staying asleep. If these simple measures don’t work, consider speaking to your doctor.