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Are You Getting Enough ZZZs?
Researchers Find Link Between Sleep and Testosterone Levels
Sleep disorders affect millions of senior citizens. Lack of sleep can make the treatment of age-related health issues such as arthritis and heart disease more difficult.
In a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, researchers from the Mayo Clinic found that sleep problems among the elderly are prevalent.
The researchers worked with 892 elderly participants, age 70-89, and found that 59% had a sleep disorder other than insomnia. 32% of the participants had sleep-related leg cramps.(1)
What's more, a National Sleep Foundation (NSF) survey found that poor sleep among the elderly often goes unnoticed by the medical community. Of the 67% who reported frequent sleep problems, only one in eight said their sleep problems were diagnosed.(2)
"In spite of the emerging science linking sleep and health, only a small fraction of the many reported sleep complaints of older adults are actually diagnosed and treated," says NSF President, James K. Walsh, PhD.
Two recent studies are finding that lack of sleep and poor quality sleep is linked to low testosterone as well, reinforcing the importance of getting a good night's sleep.
In the first of the two studies, researcher Zoran Sekerovic, a graduate student from the University of Montreal, looked at whether sleep quality and low testosterone in men over 50 are linked. His findings were presented at the annual conference of the Association Francophone Pour le Savoir (ACFAS).(3)
Specifically, Sekerovic discovered a link between testosterone levels in men over 50 and the quality of their deep sleep, considered Phases III and IV of the sleep cycle. This is important, because as Sekerovic says, "Deep sleep is when the recuperation of body and mind is optimal."
To put this in perspective, deep sleep represents 10 to 20 percent of total sleep in young men, whereas by age 50, it decreases to five to seven percent. It can disappear completely for men over 60.
Sekerovic suggests decreasing testosterone levels are what impact sleep, and not the other way around.
The Sleep-Testosterone Connection Begins Early
The second study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that lack of sleep significantly lowers a younger man's testosterone levels. (4) So much so that skipping sleep reduces a young man's testosterone levels by the same amount as aging 10 to 15 years.
Ten young men, with an average age of 24 years old, were chosen for the study. They had to pass a variety of tests to screen for endocrine or psychiatric disorders and sleep problems in advance.
During the study, each of the participants spent three nights in the lab sleeping for up to ten hours, followed by eight nights sleeping less than five hours. Researchers could tell after just a single week that sleep loss was linked to lower testosterone levels.
"As research progresses, low sleep duration and poor sleep quality are increasingly recognized as endocrine disruptors," said Eve Van Cauter, PhD and director of the study.
It's clear that getting sufficient sleep is vital to maintaining healthy testosterone levels, whether you're young or old. Shoot for 7-8 hours of sleep each night and stay away from eating late at night or drinking too much caffeine.
Also, remember to take T-Boost every day. It supports your body in making more of its natural supply of testosterone, lifting your energy so that you have more drive... no matter what your age.