While many men want to believe that their testosterone levels are highest when they are pounding the weights in the gym or trying to gain the attention of a good-looking lady – that’s not the case. Testosterone levels are highest, in both men and woman, at night during REM sleep. So what happens if a men (or woman) has trouble sleeping and doesn’t spend enough time in REM?
Lack of Sleep and Testosterone Levels
Almost everyone complains of having trouble sleeping from time to time – stress, financial troubles and caffeine intake can all affect sleep, especially REM sleep. When a man spends too little time in REM, his testosterone levels drop. A drop in testosterone levels can cause reduced libido, difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection and other problems.
Sleep Apnea and Low Testosterone
Men who suffer from sleep apnea may also have lower than normal testosterone levels. According to the National Institutes of Health, there is a direct connection between sleep apnea and sexual dysfunction in both men and women. The connection is particularly prominent if the sleep apnea causes loss of sleep or reduced REM.
How is the connection between erectile dysfunction, sleep apnea and reduced testosterone made?
The first and most important step is to put your ideas about sexual dysfunction behind you and head to the doctor. If you have symptoms of sleep apnea, a sleep study may be scheduled along with a blood test to measure testosterone. The sleep study will reveal if sleep apnea is a problem and the blood test will measure testosterone.
Is there treatment for reduced testosterone due to lack of sleep?
Yes, the treatment is improved sleep. Men who sleep better and achieve REM stages of sleep effectively will likely see an increase in testosterone, but finding just the right treatment for sleep disorders can be difficult. In some cases sleep apnea is caused by being overweight or other outside medical considerations. If that condition is remedied, the sleep apnea may improve and testosterone levels may return to normal.
Talk to your doctor about sleep apnea, difficulty sleeping and your symptoms of low testosterone. If you don’t talk with your physician, you could continue suffering. Home remedies for sleep-related issues include reducing caffeine intake during the second half of the day, starting and following a relaxing bedtime ritual every night, reducing light in the bedroom at night and reducing outside noise during sleep time.