(Article Medically Reviewed By Dr. Zach Hyde)
How Poor Sleep Slashes Male Hormones
Even in 2021, sleep might be one of the least controversial things you could ever advocate for.
However, though everyone seems to understand and agree on the importance of getting enough sleep, this hasn’t changed the fact that most of us simply don’t do so.
And if you’re one of those guys who thinks five hours a night is all you need, finding out how sleep can affect your testosterone levels might change your mind.
Extra Hour of Sleep Increase Test Levels by 15%
Yes, you read that title correctly.
Every extra hour of sleep you get per night has the power to increase your free testosterone levels by 15%.
While this might seem farfetched at first, you have to remember the three basic “building blocks” of a healthy body: diet, exercise, and sleep.
As it turns out, these are also the building blocks of healthy hormones – with sleep being the most important of all!
You see, your body was designed with a certain amount of rhythm in mind.
Before lights, cell phones, and televisions were invented, nighttime would serve as the primary signal that it was time to go to sleep.
Alternatively, the sun rising would tell your body it’s time to get up and get on the lookout for sabretooth tigers or what have you.
After a few thousand years, your body has gotten used to this.
So, whether we like it or not, consistent, plentiful sleep is part of our human engineering, that helps give our bodies the time needed to build, repair and replinish hormones.
Start shaving off hours of sleep in exchange for more TV time, and you’re going to start seeing some serious negative impacts.
For men, one of the first things to hit the brakes is our testosterone production.
The Connection Between Testosterone and Sleep
That rhythm our bodies follow? Our testosterone levels follow the same pattern. Specifically, they peak in the morning and then slowly work their way down until evening arrives.
Now, what does that tell you?
Well, it should tell you that while you’re dreaming away through your REM cycle, your endocrine system is sending signals to your baby makers to get to work.
For instance, one study by an Illinois-based endocrinologist had a group of otherwise healthy men test their T levels first thing in the morning.
However, they also gave each subject a wristband that recorded the amount and quality of each man’s sleep the night before.
The results showed that the men who got eight full hours of sleep had more than double the testosterone than those who got four hours. (500-700 ng/dl. vs. 200-300 ng/dl).
This has been backed up by other research, which also indicates that men suffering from low testosterone levels are often far too quick to seek out replacement therapy.
In most cases, a simple change of sleeping habits could provide them with a dramatic (and free) improvement – no doctors needed.
Steps to Improve Your Sleep Quality
Now, we’ve published literally thousands of articles on why you need to maintain high testosterone levels – particularly as you age.
However, just for the sake of argument, let’s go over the many ways that low testosterone can impact your life.
- Reduced sex drive
- Elevated Estrogen
- Reduced muscle mass
- Hindered performance
- Mood problems, depression, etc.
- Higher cortisol levels (stress hormones)
- Problems losing weight
- Weak Erections
The reason for repeating these is to remind you that low T levels aren’t a problem that only manifests in the bedroom.
From beer guts that won’t go away to anxiety problems to being unable to keep up with your friends in the gym…
There are plenty of problems you might be able to fix by following the steps listed below:
Get Some Blackout Curtains
Even the tiniest bit of light is often enough to impact your pineal gland’s ability to secrete melatonin.
I suggest investing in some thick curtains to create a completely dark space. This means no gadgets with lights on in the room.
Alternatively, you could try a sleep mask.
Add More Exercise
If you could ask our ancestors, they’d tell you we’re incredibly lazy creatures.
If you want to sleep as well as your cave-dwelling kin, you need to be getting plenty of exercise throughout the day.
While a simple walk around the block after dinner will help, a good gym regimen is something we should all strive for.
Yes, youshould try to stay off electronic devices before bed.
However, did you also know that the frequencies from the devices in your home (TVs, microwaves, coffee makers) can affect your sleep quality?
Don’t just turn them off – unplug them whenever possible.
Supplement with Melatonin
I already mentioned that your pineal gland secretes this important hormone when you’re asleep.
However, you can also supplement with it.
In fact, many people have reported significant improvements in sleep quality by adding one little pill to their repertoire.
Just keep in mind that extremly low doses out perform higher doses. Low doses also eliminate fatigue the next day that is common when you take more.
One very good study done on older subjects found that 3mg or less was the sweet spot.
Sleep in the Buff (and in the Cold)
Your outdoor-loving Uncle Rick was right about one thing: humans were meant to sleep outside.
That’s why you should do your best to keep your room on the chilly side, thus mimicking the outdoor environment.
This will also keep your testicles cool, even if they’re pressed up against the body.
Remember, your boys function best at a lower temp than the rest of you (which is why you should sleep naked).
If you haven’t heard about this miracle herb from India, you are missing out.
Not only has it shown to lower stress hormone levels and assist with sleep, but it is a potent testosterone booster in and of itself.
It’s like killing two birds with one stone, only the birds keep you from growing man boobs.
Testosterone and Sleep Conclusion:
Every hour of sleep that you get has the potential to increase your testosterone levels by 15%.
That’s more testosterone for the gym, for the workday, and for when you get home and finally get the kids to sleep.
As a man, testosterone is your fuel.
Don’t get used to letting it run low! Your body, your mind, and your sex life will thank you.