Low Testosterone and Insomnia: Understanding the Connection
If you have ever wondered why you have less energy after sleepless nights, you can blame it on testosterone. It is true – lack of sleep will decrease your testosterone levels. One well-known side effect of Low T is fatigue. That is why examining the connection between low testosterone and insomnia is crucial for men and women. Adults today are busier than ever before, sleep less, and are more tired than ever before.
Studies focused on sleep deprivation and low testosterone have found that one week of sleep loss can reduce daytime testosterone levels as much as 15%. Participants in one study slept only five hours each night, far below the recommended seven to nine hours. Their lowest daytime levels of testosterone occurred in the afternoon and evening. Energy levels continued to drop as the week progressed.
A concern about insomnia and low testosterone levels is warranted. You see, the less you sleep, the lower your testosterone levels. Adults with the lowest levels of testosterone have the hardest time getting a full night of quality sleep. It is almost like being on a hamster wheel and never getting off. The cycle of reduced sleep and low testosterone continues.
Why Does Low Testosterone Contribute to Insomnia?
When you have low testosterone levels, and insomnia is a problem, it is helpful to look at another hormone – cortisol. You probably know cortisol as the stress hormone, but that is not its only function.
Cortisol levels will increase when your body (not necessarily your mind) is fatigued. Why is that? The hormone, also known by the name cortisone, helps to stimulate ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry. This is important to the body because when you do not get enough sleep, and testosterone levels are low, your body requires energy.
Where is it going to find that energy?
The body will seek out nutrition, in the form of food. Cortisol stimulates ghrelin which tells you to eat more. The problem with this is that testosterone also helps promote proper metabolism of the food you eat. Since testosterone levels are low, that food often turns to fat rather than energy. You keep eating and begin to gain weight – which further lowers testosterone levels.
Another issue along with low testosterone and insomnia is human growth hormone deficiency. HGH relies on the same good night’s sleep as testosterone or its levels also decline. HGH has stimulating effects on testosterone production, so its decrease further worsens testosterone levels.
Now, let us get back to our discussion about cortisol. When you have low testosterone, you have higher levels of cortisone in the bloodstream. Elevated cortisol levels keep you alert and awake at night. That is why it becomes so difficult to fall asleep, and you face another night with insomnia.
Can Treating Low Testosterone Help Insomnia?
You need to get plenty of sleep for your body to produce the testosterone it needs. However, if you have Low T, you cannot fall asleep due to higher levels of cortisol.
What happens when you treat Low T with testosterone therapy?
As soon as you increase the amount of testosterone in the bloodstream an amazing thing happens – cortisol levels begin to decline.
With the drop in cortisol, your body begins to relax more easily at night. You feel tired, which is true – you are. Before you know it, you are sleeping longer, and more soundly at night. Once you start getting a minimum of seven hours of nightly sleep your natural hormone production and functions improve. All the other symptoms you had that were associated with Low T begin to decline and disappear. You will start to wake up feeling refreshed and energized in the mornings.
If you have concerns about low testosterone and insomnia, Hormone Replacement Clinic is here to help. Our experienced medical team can determine if you have Low T and provide the necessary treatment to help you sleep better at night. Please call or complete our short contact form above for more information and a free, confidential consultation.