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    Men's Health
    1234 · 20 min read

    Does sleep deprivation reduce testosterone levels?

    Do you get enough sleep? If you are a man and regularly deprive yourself of sleep, you may find yourself suffering from certain health problems now or in the near future that relate to low testosterone levels.

    Key Takeaways:

    Lack of Sleep Lowers Testosterone Levels:

    • A study found that young men who don't get enough sleep can significantly reduce their testosterone levels, leading to symptoms like reduced muscle mass, lower bone density, and decreased vigor.

    Symptoms of Low Testosterone:

    • Men with low testosterone may experience erectile dysfunction, infertility, breast tissue development, reduced hair growth, decreased muscle mass, and loss of bone density.

    Improving Sleep and Lifestyle to Boost Testosterone:

    • To naturally boost testosterone, it is important to lift weights, eat a proper diet, get 7-8 hours of sleep daily, and minimize stress. Weight loss can also help increase testosterone levels, especially in overweight individuals.

    Sleep Deprivation Study: The Effects of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men

    A study by Leproult & Van Cauter (2011) found that healthy young men have their testosterone levels significantly reduced when they don't get regular sleep.

    Eve Van Cauter, PhD, a professor in medicine and director of the study, found that men who slept less than five hours a night for one week in a laboratory had significantly lower levels of testosterone than when they had a full night's sleep.

    Eve Van Cauter, PhD

    Testosterone is critical for building strength, muscle mass and bone density (The Vale Health Clinic, 2023). The study found that, by skipping sleep, young men reduced their testosterone to levels of men who are 10 to 15 years older. During the study, young men (average age 24) spent three nights in a laboratory sleeping for up to ten hours, and then eight nights sleeping less than five hours. Their blood was sampled every 15 to 30 minutes testing testosterone levels.

    The results showed that testosterone levels decreased by 10%-15% after the week of sleep loss compared with their rested states. This decrease in testosterone levels was also associated with a loss of vigour among the participants. These men reported their mood and level of vigour during the study. The result was a declined sense of well-being as their testosterone levels dropped, which continued to decline through the end of the study.

    Do men lose testosterone as they age?

    Yes. After the age of 30, men begin to experience a gradual drop in testosterone at an average rate of around 1% per year between the ages of 30 to 40 years old (NHS, 2022).

    What are the symptoms of low testosterone?

    As a man ages, they may begin suffering from symptoms of low testosterone (Vincent, P.; 2023), these include:

    • Erectile dysfunction

    • Infertility

    • Development of breast tissue (gynaecomastia)

    • Reduced beard and body hair growth

    • Decreased muscle mass

    • Loss of bone density (osteoporosis)

    If you feel as though you are suffering from the above symptoms and believe the culprit could be low testosterone, consult with your doctor and consider getting your blood tested to determine if your amount of testosterone is deficient.

    An apple with a tape measure around it

    Which lifestyle changes can boost testosterone production?

    Certain healthy lifestyle changes can help you to boost testosterone (low T levels) naturally. These include:

    Can losing weight increase testosterone?

    Weight loss can boost your testosterone levels (British GQ, 2023). If you happen to be overweight (or obese) and also have low T levels, taking off some of those pounds is one of the best things you can do to raise your testosterone. The best ways to lose weight include regular exercise and a healthy diet. When further intervention is needed, your doctor may recommend weight loss treatments to aid your weight loss journey.

    Weight Loss Treatment Comparison Table

    Below is a comparison summary of some of popular weight loss treatments.

    Medication

    Active Ingredient

    Mechanism of Action

    How it's Taken

    Main Side Effects

    WegovySemaglutideIncreases feelings of fullness, slows stomach emptying, and regulates appetite through GLP-1 receptor stimulation.Once-weekly injection under the skin.Nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, vomiting.
    MounjaroTirzepatideActivates both the GLP-1 and GIP receptors to control appetite and regulate blood sugar.Once-weekly injection under the skin.Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, injection site reactions.
    SaxendaLiraglutideRegulates appetite by mimicking GLP-1, which slows digestion and promotes feelings of fullness.Once-daily injection under the skin.Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, low blood sugar.
    OrlistatOrlistatReduces fat absorption in the gut by blocking enzymes that break down fats.Oral capsule with meals containing fat, up to three times daily.Oily stools, flatulence, abdominal pain, diarrhoea.

    What treatments are available for sleep deprivation?

    It is imperative that you get at least seven hours of sleep per evening. If you find it hard to fall asleep regularly, you may be suffering from insomnia. For a fun and quick way to discover why you might be struggling to sleep take UK Meds Why Can't I Sleep Quiz before consulting with your regular healthcare provider for medical advice.

    There are a number of reasons why someone may be experiencing insomnia (NHS, 2024). These include if you:

    • Have trouble falling asleep

    • Lie awake at night

    • Wake up several times during the night

    • Wake up early and can't go back to sleep

    • Still feel tired after waking up

    • Feel tired and irritable during the day

    • Have difficulty concentrating during the day because you're tired

    • Find it hard to nap during the day even though you're tired

    Your doctor may determine that sleeping tablets may help you get the regular sleep you need. The can include treatments such as Circadin (melatonin).

    By managing your sleep better, you can avoid health problems associated with sleep deprivation, such as loss of testosterone.

    A man sleeping on his bed

    Does Melatonin help you sleep?

    There is a supplement called Melatonin that can help people suffering with insomnia to sleep better. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body naturally. It helps to regulate sleep and wake cycles. By taking Melatonin, your body gets the signal that it is time to sleep, making it much easier to do so. Unlike prescription sleep medications, Melatonin is not habit-forming and is safer to use long-term. Melatonin is used in the treatment of insomnia due to jet lag or having an odd schedule because of the timing of work shifts.

    Sources

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    Blog author

    Scott Weaver

    Scott is an experienced and professional content writer who works exclusively for UK Meds.

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