Roadblocks to Intimacy--and How to Get Around Them

Photo: ThinkstockBy Dr. Mehmet Oz

You're Exhausted
Roughly 53 percent of Americans say they're too worn out at the end of the day to fool around, according to a poll by Consumer Reports. To power up your sex life, consider powering down your gadgets. New research indicates that the backlight from the screens of electronics may be the reason you're not getting a good night's rest (the light tricks the brain by simulating daylight, making you less likely to fall asleep). A study by the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that two hours of screen time before bed suppressed melatonin--the hormone responsible for regulating your sleep schedule--by about 23 percent.

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Chronic Conditions Are Taking a Toll
High blood pressure and diabetes can decrease blood flow in arteries, which may make it more difficult to get aroused. If you're unable to keep your blood pressure and blood sugar levels in check through diet and exercise, consult your doctor about medications that can help. And consider a Mediterranean diet, which is high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, and olive oil; a study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research found that women who spent two years on this diet experienced a significant boost in their overall sexual function, including arousal.

You're Nearing Menopause
In the months leading up to menopause, estrogen levels drop, which can cause vaginal dryness--often a painful turnoff. But there's a simple solution: Talk to your gynecologist about using a topical estrogen cream to banish dryness quickly and make sex fun again.

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