Sleep and libido in men with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

Sleep Med. 2018 Dec;52:158-162. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2018.07.016. Epub 2018 Sep 20.


Objectives: The objectives of this study were to investigate the relationship between a low libido and objective sleep parameters as well as mood disturbances in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSA).

Methods: We enrolled 436 untreated patients who were newly diagnosed with OSA (all male, mean age 42.8 years). Patients completed the Symptom checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI), and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Patients were divided into low-libido and normal-libido groups according to their response to the statement "Loss of sexual interest or pleasure" on the SCL-90-R.

Results: Approximately 23% of patients reported a low libido. Patients with a low libido were older (47.5 ± 9.0 vs. 41.4 ± 11.1 years; p < 0.001), had more nocturia (33.3% vs. 16.6%; p < 0.001), higher BDI (9.0 (5.0-14.0) vs. 5.0 (2.0-9.0); p < 0.001) and BAI score (11.0 (6.3-16.8) vs. 5.0 (2.0-10.0); p < 0.001). These patients had a lower non-REM sleep stage 3 (N3) % (0.1 (0-4.0) vs. 2.3 (0.1-7.9); p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that older age and higher BDI score were independent factors associated with a low libido.

Conclusions: Men with untreated OSA suffered from a low libido. Older age and depressed mood were the most important factors of low libido in middle-aged men with OSA.

Keywords: Libido; Obstructive sleep apnea; Polysomnography; Sleep quality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Depression / psychology
  • Humans
  • Libido / physiology*
  • Male
  • Polysomnography
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Republic of Korea
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology*