Is Your Sleep Influencing Your Testosterone Levels?

Jun 12, 2024 | Anxiety+Stress, Blog, Health, Insomnia, Monitoring, Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders, Sleep Tips, Telehealth

You may have read several articles highlighting the negative effects certain things, like sugar or the ever-scary “soy,” might have on testosterone levels. But have you ever stopped to wonder if sleep disorders might be added to that list? In observance of Men’s Health Month, we’re going to do just that. Follow along to explore how sleep disorders, particularly sleep apnea and insomnia, could play an integral role in testosterone production.

Understanding Sleep Apnea and Its Impact on Men

Sleep apnea, specifically obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), is significantly more prevalent in men than in women and poses serious health risks. It is characterized by frequent interruptions in breathing during sleep. These interruptions, known as apneas, are caused by the obstruction of the upper airway. Studies have shown that men with OSA often experience a decrease in testosterone levels, which can lead to fatigue and sexual dysfunction. This relationship suggests a bidirectional link where sleep apnea affects hormone levels and vice versa (Burschtin & Wang, 2016).

In obese men, sleep apnea has been shown to directly impact reproductive hormones and the quality of sexual life, with more severe apnea leading to significantly lower testosterone levels. This decrease in testosterone is not just a symptom but part of a cycle involving poor sleep quality and hormonal imbalances (Hammoud et al., 2011).

Insomnia: More Than Just Sleeplessness

Insomnia, a common sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or both, adversely affects health by disrupting the normal production of hormones, including testosterone. Research has established that testosterone release is closely linked to sleep cycles, particularly the onset of REM sleep. Chronic sleep curtailment, defined as “shortened sleep relative to average sleep duration,” can reduce testosterone levels, which are critical not only for sexual function but also for maintaining muscle strength, bone density, and overall well-being (Leproult & Cauter, 2011).

The Crucial Role of Sleep in Testosterone Production

Good quality sleep and enough of it are crucial for producing testosterone. Research indicates that the highest testosterone levels occur during sleep and drop when you wake up. Testosterone treatments can affect sleep patterns and might worsen conditions like sleep apnea. For example, high doses of testosterone can reduce total sleep time and disrupt normal sleep patterns in older men, making existing sleep problems worse (Liu et al., 2003). The relationship between testosterone and sleep is complicated, but it’s clear that poor sleep and low testosterone levels are connected. Improving testosterone levels can help with better sleep and reduce sleep disorders (Andersen & Tufik, 2008).

Addressing Sleep Issues for Better Men’s Health

Given the connections between sleep, testosterone, and men’s health, addressing sleep issues is not just about improving sleep quality but also about managing and potentially preventing related health complications. Effective management of sleep apnea, for example, not only improves sleep quality but also can stabilize testosterone levels and improve overall life quality. Therapeutic interventions, such as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and lifestyle modifications like weight management and exercise, are recommended to treat sleep disorders and enhance testosterone production.

Learn More

Understanding the intricate relationship between sleep and testosterone is crucial for men’s health. By addressing sleep issues, not only can we improve sleep quality, but we can also manage and potentially prevent related health complications.

Somnology’s Sleep Lab as a Service (SLaaS®) provides comprehensive sleep assessments, continuous monitoring with medical-grade devices like the SomnoRing®, and personalized care through telehealth consultations. This holistic approach addresses sleep disorders and improves overall sleep quality, essential for maintaining optimal testosterone levels. Discover more about Somnology’s solutions on our website.


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  2. Hammoud, A., Walker, J., Gibson, M., Cloward, T., Hunt, S., Kolotkin, R., Adams, T., & Meikle, A. (2011). Sleep Apnea, Reproductive Hormones and Quality of Sexual Life in Severely Obese Men. Obesity, 19.
  3. Leproult, R., & Cauter, E. (2011). Effect of 1 week of sleep restriction on testosterone levels in young healthy men.. JAMA, 305 21, 2173-4 .
  4. Liu, P., Yee, B., Wishart, S., Jimenez, M., Jung, D., Grunstein, R., & Handelsman, D. (2003). The short-term effects of high-dose testosterone on sleep, breathing, and function in older men.. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 88 8, 3605-13 .
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