How does Testosterone Affect Sleep?
Sleep and testosterone are closely related. You should get enough sleep to be able to produce enough testosterone. You need a deep sleep with no disturbance on the breathing cycle. Sleep disturbances cause an increase in the stress-causing hormone cortisol. An increase in hormone cortisol suppresses testosterone levels.
Sleep Deprivation and Low Testosterone Levels?
Experts say that testosterone used in the daytime is restored at night, this is the reason older men with hypogonadism have problems sleeping. Sleep deprivation will therefore hinder the production of testosterone. During sleep, the body rejuvenates all its systems by recharging all cells. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body will remain fatigued and will not be able to function effectively. This includes the production of testosterone
Sleep Deprivation Research
Numerous studies have been advanced to investigate the relationship between sleep and testosterone levels. To clear the air, we need to understand in detail the relationship between testosterone and sleep. Research published by the American Medical Association (JAMA), illustrates the effects of sleep in healthy young men. Studies done before have indicated that lack of sleep is one of the causes of low testosterone in men, specifically elderly men.
Other studies indicate that a sleep disturbance condition, commonly known as sleep apnea is a contributor to low testosterone. JAMA used a sample of 10 men where they closely monitored the testosterone levels over a period of 8 days. In this 8 days they were subjected to 5 hours of sleeping time each night. They realized the testosterone levels reduced by 10- 15% with the highest drop being recorded in the afternoon and the evening. They also observed a significant loss of body energy throughout the study period.
Obstructive sleep apnea is another condition where the breathing cycle is blocked while sleeping. Some of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea include; feeling sleepy at daytime, snoring loud at night and short moments of sleep apnea. This condition can result in an irregular sleep cycle. This has a negative effect on the level of testosterone count.
A 2012 research done by the American Urological Association did a comprehensive study on 2,121 male law enforcement officers. They aimed to find out if there is a correlation between sleep apnea and low testosterone. They found out of the total sample, 38% of the men had very low testosterone levels. 43% were found to have sleep apnea. These men had a higher possibility of having the low testosterone condition. Their probability of having hypogonadism was at 50 %.
Another research also demonstrates that 15% of adult workers in the USA sleeps for 5 or fewer hours a night. This explains the high number of male adults with low testosterone level condition in the USA.
Research conducted by the Penev et al., involved constant monitoring of a sample of men using a wristband. It found that; men who slept for 4 hours had 200- 300ng/ dL while those who took 8 hours of sleep had 500-700 ng/ dL.
The University of Chicago in their 1997 research revealed that inadequate sleep raises the levels of the hormone cortisol. The Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2010 reveals the rise of the stress hormone cortisol reduces testosterone levels significantly.
What is REM Sleep?
There are three elemental factors which affect the testosterone levels in males. They include; sleep, diet and exercise. For healthy and fruitful sleep, one ought to experience rapid eye movement (REM). Rem is a state where the eyes revolve while shut and sleep, to clean up any dirt in them. REM takes place after every 90 minutes.
When the body is in this state of REM, the body system which produces hormones regulates the process of metabolism, and the growth of tissues and other functions is activated. The brain sends signals to the testes to produce more testosterone to be used for the coming day. The Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) prescribes that you get enough sleep to ensure sleep hygiene processes take place. It recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night healthy proper for a healthier lifestyle.
CDC gives a guideline on how to achieve a healthy sleep life which includes;
Set a Routine
CDC argues one should set a daily routine for everyday regardless if it’s a holiday or a weekend. This implies your wake-up time should be the same. Achieving this requires self-discipline and motivation. The setting of an alarm helps before one goes to bed and having the right attitude that as soon as it rings you wake up.
Have a Soft Bedtime Target
This implies that you get to bed only when you get sleepy which increases one sleeping efficiency and reduces time wasted lying in bed. To achieve this, you have to prepare your mind physiologically 5 – 10 minutes before sleep which makes you sleep almost immediately after you lie on your bed.
The environment of your bedroom affects your sleep pattern significantly. Research shows factors like the lighting, temperature, noise among others have significant effects on sleep. Researchers demonstrate that a dark, quiet and a cool environment is the best for one to have a healthy sleep with no disturbance. Experts also encourage one to wear loose clothing while sleeping or to sleep naked. They argue that the testes need to be free and hang loosely, for better testosterone production.
Switch off Mobile Phones and Wi-Fi Hotspots
Studies reveal that electromagnetic frequencies cause sleep disturbances. One should not sleep with his phone in his bed, and it should always be switched off in the bedroom while sleeping.
Avoid Bright Electronic Displays Before You Sleep
The common blue light in electronics screens has an adverse effect on the pineal glands. This causes a reduction in the production of a hormone that promotes sleep called melatonin. This hormone is known to boost testosterone levels as it acts as an aromatase enzymes inhibitor.
The bed should be used solely for its intended purpose. This implies the bed should only use for one to sleep or for sex. Other distractive activities should be highly avoided. Some of the activities include; watching television while on the bed, reading books sitting on the bed, working on your bed or even lying idle. When one is focused, one gets healthy sleep hence more testosterone produced.
Better Eating Habits
Researchers recommend that for one to achieve a healthy sleeping habit, one should avoid eating heavy meals before sleeping. Researchers further put that one should take a light meal, 3-4 hours before sleep. When one takes a heavy meal, blood sugar levels rise, this causes stress on the body. This stress affects one sleeping pattern. When the sleep is affected, testosterone levels are affected.
For one to achieve the right levels of testosterone in the body, quality sleep is essential. This has been overwhelmingly proven by various well-detailed researches. It’s therefore important for one to be keen on their sleeping pattern.