Testosterone And Sleep: How Does Sleep Impact Testosterone?

Testosterone And Sleep

Aging in men comes with many signs, which include greying of hair, declining health, saggy skin, and a significant drop in the production of testosterone. The reduction may seem apparent in late middle age, but it starts getting pretty significant by 30.

After around 30 years, the testosterone produced lowers by 1% on an average, every year. With it comes a general sluggishness and low libido. It makes a lot of men choose testosterone boosting supplements or treatments. One contributing factor, however, is always overlooked, and that is sleep.

Importance of Testosterone

It is common for people to write off the lowering of testosterone as a natural aging symptom. It may be so in old age, but its premature reduction calls for serious consideration. What they fail to understand is the importance of testosterone for the body’s wellbeing, which are:

Sex Drive:

Testosterone is best known as the primary male hormone, responsible for maintaining the sex drive. Early reduction in the hormone, along with the symptoms it causes, would diminish libido. Some men might also face issues like erectile dysfunction.

Muscles:

The hormone aids in protein synthesis and increases the count of neurotransmitters that help in muscle tissue growth. It is a factor for building muscles and honing muscular durability and strength.

Injuries:

Bone density and red blood cells see an increase with regulated and healthy production of testosterone. It heightens the chances of avoiding injury since there would be a lesser chance of bone breakage.

Body Fat:

Since the hormone adds to active and healthy muscle development, the body’s insulin sensitivity changes. It becomes much easier to burn body fat and keep it away, now that metabolic health is encouraged by stable testosterone amounts in the bloodstream.

Maintaining Brain Health:

Apart from benefitting physical health, testosterone also promotes certain aspects of brain health. The hormone may assist in preserving brain tissues during the process of aging. This may be the reason behind excellent memory retention in some older men.

Testosterone and Sleep

The link between testosterone and sleep is often ignored. A degradation in qualities of both these bodily functions is overwritten to be as symptoms of aging. In reality, they may directly affect each other.

Sleep deprivation influences testosterone production—the secretion peaks in the hours of sleep. Thus, losing slumber doesn’t give the body a chance to produce optimal amounts of the male hormone. An individual who gets insufficient sleep quickens the pace at which the testosterone production ages. It might get lowered to levels that may have otherwise been achieved by aging 10-15 years.

While less sleep may play a role in causing low testosterone levels, hypogonadism may cause sleeping disorders. Hypogonadism is a disorder in which the secretion of testosterone by the glands is lowered due to many underlying complications. One of its symptoms includes insomnia.

Causes of Sleep Deprivation

Poor sleep habits and lifestyle choices contribute to lesser hours of sleep on a daily basis. On average, an average working man in his early 30s might be getting only 5 hours of sleep per night. Some of the conditions that disrupt sleep patterns are:

Stress:

Stress is a well-known inhibitor of a regular sleep schedule. Always being worried about work and other life problems leads to chronic stress development, if not controlled. Under pressure, the brain activates the release of a hormone called cortisol. Stressed muscles, breathing complications, escalated heartbeat, and unregulated energy boosts are some effects of this hormone’s high levels.

These symptoms do not allow the body to relax for sleep. The quality of sleep is hampered as well, due to constant interruptions and difficulty in remaining asleep.

Lack of Physical Activity:

A busy life poses as an obstacle to an active lifestyle. Waking up, going to work, and returning late nights hardly give the person time to indulge in exercise. Even if time is spared, they might be too burnt-out, both physically and mentally.

The body needs some form of movement. As one age, their want of working their body out diminishes, more so when there might be problems like the ache of joints and muscles.

Underlying Health Issues:

Many common medical problems can be the cause behind sleepless nights. These include cardiovascular disorders, heartburn, diabetes, kidney diseases, and mental disorders like depression and anxiety.

Undetected sleep disorders might be a reason too. Unmanaged stress, depression, and side effects of medications can be the reason behind insomnia. Sleep apnea is another disorder where breathlessness is experienced during sleep. It may cause suffocation, leading to interrupted slumber.

Ways to Sleep Better

There are several medicative treatments of increasing testosterone levels available in the market, in the form of enhancement pills and drugs. Procedures that involve surgeries are also provided after consulting a doctor.

However, bettering the conditions for sleep should be considered first. A week’s worth of good sleep may be enough to bring the testosterone levels back to normal. Here are some tips to get a perfect night’s rest:

Recommended Hours:

An adult human should clock in at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Maintaining a strict schedule of going to bed and waking up could help. The same timings are to be followed regardless of it being a weekend or weekday.

Napping:

It is best to avoid napping altogether. If there is an absolute need, the duration should not exceed 20 minutes.

Bedroom Environment:

An optimal environment is needed for the body to feel comfortable enough to sleep. Temperatures should be kept cool, preferably between 60 to 70 degrees. Harsh lights should be switched off, and all forms of noise should be shut out.

Screen Time:

Looking at phones, laptops, or any form of screens should be prohibited while in bed. It is also suggested to keep eyes free from screen time for at least an hour before bed.

Nicotine, Alcohol, and Caffeine:

All three of them pose numerous risks to health, including sleep patterns. Nicotine and caffeine act as stimulants for the body. Alcohol may have a sedative property, but it ultimately hinders sleep quality. Limitations or total avoidance of these substances should be practiced.

Increase Physical Activities:

Exercise promotes the secretion of feel-good hormones, which might ultimately benefit testosterone production. Moderate physical activities daily also tire the body out, making it easy to fall asleep. Outdoor activities are preferable over indoor ones. This also helps in maintaining a healthy weight.

Conclusion

Treating low testosterone with hormone replacement therapy does not have any direct positive effects on sleep problems. Nor using sleep disorders medications or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) lead to testosterone levels returning to normalcy. 

Thus, relying on natural ways seems like a better option. But extreme disorders should be highlighted to a doctor immediately. It should be medicated in ways that have no adverse side effects leading to other possible health issues.