Now, comes research from one of the world’s foremost sleep labs showing that 2.5 hrs a night of less sleep than normal drops healthy men’s testosterone levels by 15-20%!
The authors state:
Daytime testosterone levels were decreased by 10% to 15% in this small convenience sample of young healthy men who underwent 1 week of sleep restriction to 5 hours per night, a condition experienced by at least 15% of the US working population. By comparison, normal aging is associated with a decrease of testosterone levels by 1% to 2% per year.6
We know that sleep deprivation and/or poor sleep (often from sleep apnea) are associated with obesity and poor food choices. Sleep deprivation can setup a viscous cycle: low testosterone, less muscle, poorer insulin sensitivity, more obesity, more sleep apnea, low testosterone…
Unfortunately, while some studies have suggested that treating obese men with testosterone injections or gels can improve muscle mass and strength, testosterone supplementation may also increase sleep apnea and heart problems.
Therefore, I suggest the following approaches to raise testosterone and muscle mass:
- adequate sleep,
- treatment for sleep apnea if present
- avoidance of simple sugars,
- strength training twice a week