It’s safe to say most people know that getting the right amount of sleep can help with just about everything, but quality of sleep also matters and should not be overlooked. Some might even say it is better to have six hours of high-quality sleep than eight hours of poor-quality sleep. Either way, depriving yourself of enough sleep can have a major impact on your mood, energy levels, metabolism, and so much more.
At Maze Men’s Health, we always look at testosterone levels in the body when evaluating our patients. The effects of low testosterone are very similar to that of sleep deprivation – feeling tired, weak, sluggish, and can definitely hurt your libido. What we’ve come to find is that not sleeping enough can impact your testosterone levels quite dramatically, and thus double up on those unwanted side-effects.
In a University of Chicago study (Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men), researchers tested the effects of sleep deprivation on testosterone levels. The participants in the study were male, considered generally healthy (not overweight or obese) and young (average age was 24.3 years old). The researchers had the men sleep for 8 hours for about a week and then sleep for 5 hours for another week. During these sessions in the lab, all the men had their sleep cycles recorded and their testosterone levels checked periodically.
Although the sample size for this study was small, the results were rather dramatic. After just one week of only getting 5 hours of sleep, the average daytime testosterone levels in the men were decreased by 10-15%, most noticeable between the hours of 2-10 pm.
Now, consider a situation where a man in his mid-50’s lacks the necessary sleep 80% of the time, due to work or other related factors, is somewhat overweight, and doesn’t exercise. This man is already prone to diminished testosterone levels based on his age, weight, and his normal activity level. Add in poor-quality sleep and that is a recipe for fatigue, low sex drive and possibly even erectile dysfunction.
There’s no question that managing your health includes getting enough sleep. However, it’s also important to check your testosterone levels. Contact us for more information about Low T. We’re here to help.