“Sleep is a topic that I have become extremely interested in. It’s a topic that, I will be honest, that I probably ignored more than I should in terms of my Men’s Health practice up until several years ago. When I was at Hopkins, I had the benefit of working very closely with the sleep medicine program there. One of the physicians there I became very good friends with.
The more we looked at it, in screening for problems, especially as, for instance, sleep apnea or insomnia. But there are other problems, such as a lack of sleep, shift disorder, where it just throws your whole circadian rhythm off. We were picking up quite a few men in my Men’s Health practice, who again were coming in for sexual health issues, but I would pick up sleep problems. So 30 to 40% of the men that I would see coming in to me for ED, low testosterone, we would pick up a concern in the area of Sleep Medicine. It could be sleep apnea. That’s probably the one that has the greatest link to cardiovascular risk. Some had insomnia. Some men just weren’t getting enough sleep.
If you’re getting less than six hours sleep a night, you really put yourself at significantly increased cardiovascular risk. I was picking up men who were just having that sleep deprivation. And I picked up a lot of men that were on shift disorders, that were late night workers and were having problems there.
We really want to focus a lot on sleep, because we know we’re going to pick up a lot of it.
So sleep’s important. It’s a major part of Men’s Health and I look forward to really developing a good working relationship with the sleep medicine centers and colleagues who run Sleep Medicine centers in the Nashville area. Because just like I’m sure I’m going to pick up a lot of sleep problems, I’m sure that they have many men in their practice who have erectile dysfunction or Sexual Health issues that need to be addressed.
So sleep’s important for erectile dysfunction and testosterone. As a matter of fact, if you have low testosterone, and you have sleep apnea, you really ought to have the apnea addressed first before you treat a man with low testosterone. There’s a lot of interplay there. That’s a very important aspect of Men’s Health.”