Sleep, Sleep Disorders, and Sexual Dysfunction

World J Mens Health. 2019 Sep;37(3):261-275. doi: 10.5534/wjmh.180045. Epub 2018 Aug 14.


Good sleep is necessary for good health. Sleep health is increasingly recognized as important for physical and mental health by both the medical profession and the general public, and there is great interest in how to avoid and treat sleep disorders and problems. Recent research indicates that insufficient sleep, disrupted sleep, and sleep disorders affect many aspects of human health including sexual function. In fact, patients with urological disorders or erectile dysfunction (ED) may have a sleep disorder that contributes to their urological or sexual dysfunction. Obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, shift work disorder, and restless legs syndrome are all common sleep disorders and are associated with ED and/or other urological disorders. Therefore, careful attention should be paid to the diagnosis and treatment of concomitant sleep disorders in patients with sexual dysfunction. In this review, we provide an overview of what sleep is and how it is assessed in the clinic or laboratory; our current understanding of the functions of sleep and sleep health; a description of common sleep disorders, as well as how they are diagnosed and treated; and how sleep and its disorders are associated with male sexual dysfunction. Sleep is considered to be a 'third pillar of health', along with diet and exercise. With an understanding of common sleep disorders and how they can impact male sexual function, the urologist can ensure that sleep disorders are considered as a contributor to sexual dysfunction in their patients in order to provide them with the optimal treatment for overall health.

Keywords: Erectile dysfunction; Sexual dysfunctions, psychological; Sleep; Sleep wake disorders; Testosterone.

Publication types

  • Review