A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore gathered data about nearly six million men ages 40 to 70 with an existing diagnosis of sleep disorder (sleep apnea, insomnia, or circadian rhythm sleep disorder), matched against an equal number of men without sleep problems. It has concluded that sleep issues can impact testosterone production, with flow-on effects on the quality of the man’s sex life.
The list below summarizes key findings:
- In men with insomnia, the testes may not produce enough testosterones – the male sex hormones. The condition is known as hypogonadism, and it has an impact on a healthy sex drive and achieving a full and sustained erection (erectile dysfunction)
- Men with sleep apnea had lower libido (sex drive), which is also related to testosterone levels. These men had slightly higher rates of erectile dysfunction.
- Circadian rhythm dysfunction involves difficulty falling asleep, interrupted sleep or waking too early and being unable to fall back asleep. It is associated with higher rates of both low libido and erectile dysfunction.
Quality of sleep is more important than quantity
The quality of sleep is measured by a technique known as somnography, which involves a full-night study in a sleep lab that measures brain waves (EEG), muscle movements (EMG) and rapid eye movements (REM). During the times when a person is deepest asleep, eye movements are intense, usually associated with the periods of dreaming. Brain waves fall into a completely different pattern from a waking brain, and muscles are totally rigid. It is during this time that the brain can release the stimulants that command the testes and ovaries to produce testosterone.
The detection of insufficient REM sleep is the strongest indicator that production of testosterone may fall below the optimum levels. The impact is directly felt on the libido – the sex drive – and in all of the sleep disorders it is strongly associated with hypogonadism and erectile dysfunction.
Testosterone is an essential male hormone for many different functions, not just sexual activity, and it is produced in the deep stages of sleep. Not getting enough REM sleep, either through neglect of the signals or because of lifestyle (for example, people who do shift work, or consume alcohol just before going to bed). Lower levels of testosterone will usually impact negatively on sexual function.
A few things you can do now, to correct any problems in testosterone levels
If you’re having any trouble sleeping, or you are waking up tired, you should tell your doctor. There are many simple lifestyle changes that can help to improve sleep quality and boost your sexual performance. If there is any suggestion that you are suffering from sleep apnea – like if your partner is complaining that you are snoring more than before, then a somnography exam can be very helpful in pinpointing any problems there.
There are also some simple non-intrusive remedies that are designed to boost testosterone levels directly. These may be the best way to get back on track if simple lifestyle changes are not possible, like getting out of shift working, or remedying poor sleep quality.
Ask your doctor to consider prescribing the great special cream called AndroForte, which has been designed especially as a way to boost testosterone levels. It is not an oral medication, and so has no side effects or negative impacts. A simple dab of the cream daily on the scrotum will immediately lift the levels of testosterone where they are needed, and start to correct any deficiencies that your body or lifestyle has caused.
Where does testosterone come from in men?
Although the factories that produce testosterone are located in the testes, there are two glands located in the head that are the monitors and controllers of testosterone production. The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland are important in controlling the production levels of testosterone produced by the testes. The hypothalamus monitors blood levels of testosterone, and releases the gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which travels to the pituitary gland. From there, the gland produces luteinising hormone which travels through the bloodstream to the testes and it stimulates the production and release of testosterone.