Kristin Cavallari has a hot take. Last week, the Very Cavallari star tackled a topic on her Let’s Be Honest podcast that had listeners up…
OF all the things, it turns out your job could be putting your sex life at risk, research suggests.
Whether you’re a police officer or a construction worker, you could be affected, experts say.
Studies have shown working shifts can be linked to problems in the bedroom.
Jana Abelovska, superintendent pharmacist at Click Pharmacy, told The Sun: “There are a number of ways shift work can impact your body, and in particular your sex life.
“Shift work can disturb your body’s circadian rhythms.
“This is an internal clock that regulates your sleep-wake patterns and hormone production which, if disrupted with irregular working hours, can impact the production of sex hormones like testosterone and oestrogen."
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She added: “Working in shifts can also make it difficult to get off to sleep at the right time, leading to deprivation.
“Sleep is critical for your overall health, and a lack of it can result in fatigue, reduced libido, and commonly, issues with sexual function.
“Chronic stress on the body, as a result of poor sleep health, can really impact your mental health too, further diminishing sexual appetite.”
Dr Vikas Mehta, of Mayo Clinic Healthcare in London, said: "Shift work by definition implies working shifts – both night and day shifts.
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"This sort of work has been known, even in my personal experience, to affect the quality and amount of sleep.
"Studies have shown that poor sleep quality is related to sexual
problems, including sexual desire, orgasm, and arousal.
"Some studies stipulate that change in reproductive hormones following sleep deprivation somehow relates to the quality of sexual function."
One study found men who work shifts and suffer from a sleep disorder as a result are more likely to suffer erectile dysfunction.
Dr Katherine Rodriguez, of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said the issue was particularly prevalent in those who work at night.
She said: “Men with shift work sleep disorder have worse erectile function, with men who work night shifts having even poorer erectile function.
“These findings suggest that circadian rhythm disturbance may significantly impact erectile function.”
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Around 4.3million men in Britain are affected and it is usually considered to be more common in people in their 40s or older, according to the NHS.
It can be caused by stress, tiredness or drinking too much, but could also be a sign of more serious complications if it happens regularly.
These include high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes, depression, anxiety and hormone problems.
Shift work sleep disorder causes issues with falling and staying asleep, as well as feeling tired at the wrong times.
It is caused by disturbances to the body’s natural sleep cycle, known medically as the circadian rhythm.
The study, published in Elsevier’s Journal of Sexual Medicine, looked at how shift work sleep disorder impacts the risk of erectile dysfunction.
They looked at 754 men who were being treated for erectile dysfunction, 204 of which worked shift work jobs — starting before 7am or after 6pm.
Some 48 had shift work sleeping disorder.
While shift work alone did not affect their erectile function, having shift work sleep disorder significantly reduced it.
Dr Rodriguez said: “Testosterone therapy may partly reverse the effects of shift work sleep disorder.
“However, shift work is a potential risk factor for erectile dysfunction and should be assessed for as part of the evaluation of men with erectile dysfunction.”
And shift work is not just a problem for men.
Another study looking at female nursing staff on shift work found they had lower levels of sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasms and enjoyment because of poor sleep.
The research, also published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, looked at 120 women working at two hospitals in Iran.
Researchers surveyed them to see how well they sleep and how they rate their own sexual quality of life.
They were then split in two groups of equal size to see how improving sleep influences their sex lives.
One group were given three “sleep intervention session” while the others were not.
Those whose sleep improved saw their sex lives increase as well, results showed.
Dr Hossein Khastar, of Shahroud University, said: “Sleep problems in shift working nurses are common and they are associated with health problems and lower job performance.
“Improved sleep showed an impact on sexual quality of life among rotating female shift workers.”
Medics recommend shift workers improve their sleep by following 18 guidelines set out in the medical journal Sleep.
These include prioritising sleep by rescheduling social activities and household tasks around when you need to nod off.
Workers should also aim to aim for seven to nine hours sleep every 24 hours, develop a sleep schedule and bedtime routine, plan their transition to days off and use napping as a helpful tool.
Creating a comfortable sleep environment and only using your bed for sleep and intimacy are also crucial.
Reducing light exposure before bed and how much alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and certain types of medicine you consume can also help.
Likewise, avoiding heavy meals and drinking too much water during night shifts can improve sleep.
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Finally, you should exercise regularly and develop strategies for sleep problems like doing something relaxing in a dimly lit environment when you can't sleep.
What are 10 jobs that could be impacting your sex life because of shift patterns?
- Police officers
- Lorry drivers
- Construction workers
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