Everybody wants a good night’s sleep, that’s why we have expressions like I slept like a baby. Few things feel better than a deep, dreamless, relaxing sleep. Sometimes it seems that once we start a full time job, begin raising a family, all while trying to maintain some of our independence, sleep becomes a thing of the past. Real sleep disturbance, and consequently real fatigue, comes along not when the hours we sleep are reduced, but rather when the quality of sleep is affected.
What causes a decline in our quality of sleep? Many factors can alter sleeping patterns throughout our lives: Stress, work, and lifestyle are just a few of the things we often blame for lack of sleep. If you’re a male, especially a male entering middle age, sleep disturbances may actually be caused not by external factors, but rather by a hormonal imbalance. Right around the age of 30, testosterone in men begins to drop steadily. This decline continues as men age. Around the age of 40, men begin to report disturbances of sleep; raising questions like “why can’t I sleep anymore?” This chronological pattern has some researchers believing that the decline in testosterone and the onset of sleep disturbances may be linked.
You may or may not know that quality sleep is actually a cycle of phases. When people report that their quality of sleep is diminishing, it usually means that they are not reaching the deep sleep cycle often enough. Men over the age of 50 are the largest group of men reporting sleep disturbances. Interestingly, most men in their 20s and 30s report a decline in sleep quality far less often, even though their lives are often busier at this stage. These observations of the age and sleep partnership are what continue to lead scientists to suspect the link between testosterone and sleep.
Researchers have gone on to claim that low levels of testosterone alter the way the brain “syncs.” The perfect synchronization is required in the brain to attain deep sleep. Thus, inadequate testosterone levels prevent this syncing, and therefore, prevent men from reaching the deep sleep cycle. Lack of sleep then results in an array of other symptoms such as fatigue and fogginess. These symptoms are also, interestingly enough, other signs and symptoms of low testosterone. As you can see, this is all just one big, messy cycle that needs to be stopped right away.
Even though declining testosterone levels are a natural occurrence as we age, it doesn’t mean you have to live the rest of your life exhausted. If your testosterone levels are tested and determined to be lower than normal, testosterone injections may be able to help you get the rest you need. Providers at Low T Center can let you know if you qualify for testosterone replacement therapy within your very first visit. Sleep, or the lack thereof, doesn’t have to take over your life. With low testosterone treatment, rest might be just around the corner.