According to Hollywood, we, Americans, are a fit, healthy and attractive people whose wild sexual escapades are to be envied. In reality though, America IS NOT Sexy in the Bedroom. The reality is that we, Americans, are one of the most out-of-shape, lazy, and unhealthy people on the planet whose sex lives are next to non-existent, mainly due to our unhealthy lifestyle. Now, I understand that these statements seem harsh to many of you. Therefore, I am going to give you an example of how our unhealthy lifestyle is effecting our performance in the bedroom.
According to the CDC, an estimated 67% of American adults are overweight and of those an estimated 34% are categorized as being obese. Alone such statistics are meaningless. But, when put in a social context they translate into a huge array of health problems, many of which manifest themselves in the bedroom.
Sleep Apnea is one of the most common health problems many obese individuals face. Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. Individuals with sleep apnea snore loudly, toss and turn all night, and wake up tired. They may also experience extreme sleepiness throughout the day, migraines, short term memory problems, extreme mood swings and reduced libido. The following is an example of mild sleep apnea snoring:
Now, you might be thinking, “Big deal! We all have nights when we don’t sleep well”. But, sleep apnea is far more serious. Untreated, sleep apnea can cause heart attacks, stroke, heart disease and impotence.
So, how is sleep apnea treated? Most cases of sleep apnea in America can be treated by weight loss and adapting a healthy lifestyle such as avoiding alcoholic beverages and quitting smoking. For those individuals who either refuse to adapt a healthy lifestyle or claim not to be able to do so (ex: I just can’t loose weight) Dr.’s prescribe a C-PAP machine which is to be worn during sleep to help keep the airways open. If you’ve ever seen one of these machines you know that they are not sexy!
[Now, I would like to go on record as saying that there are individuals with severe cases of sleep apnea who are not overweight and lead fairly healthy lifestyles. Those individuals use a Bi-PAP machine, designed for severe sleep apnea cases or resort to other treatments up to and including surgery. In this post I am only speaking of more moderate cases of sleep apnea that can be treated by simple weight loss and lifestyle changes.]