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Sleep and Testosterone Levels

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When you’re getting into the best shape of your life there are three things that matter most, especially if you want that optimal hormonal environment:

  • Solid Training – You’re lifting heavy and often
  • Balanced Diet – Good nutrition, and enough of it to grow
  • Optimum Sleep – Plenty of rest and recovery

That last one being one of the most important, if not the most important if your aiming is to have sky-high testosterone levels. Studies have shown a good night’s sleep and raised T-levels have been closely linked [1], and not getting enough could slow your progress significantly.

Testosterone is all about your performance in and out of the gym, and its decline is associated with:

  • Increased levels of belly fat
  • Reduced levels of muscle mass
  • Decreased levels of bone density
  • Reduced levels of sexual libido

It’s estimated that your testosterone levels decrease by around 1% every year after you hit the mid 30’s. With this in mind you should be aiming to secure as higher levels as possible – and sleeping right is a good way to do this.

Getting undisturbed good quality sleep is your key to higher T. These are 5 stages of sleep you should be going through every night for the best recovery and refreshment:

The 5 Stages of Sleep

  • Stage 1 – This involves the eye and muscle functions slowing down.
  • Stage 2 – During this stage your eyes stop moving and your brain function slows down.
  • Stage 3 – This is the first part of the deep sleep stage. Your brain begins to make ‘delta’ waves and it can be difficult to wake you up during this stage. This is when Human Growth Hormone and Testosterone are secreted and the real recovery starts.
  • Stage 4 – This is the second part of the deep stage. This is the ‘dream’ part of the sleep cycle and the brain begins to create slower delta waves. This stage makes you feel revitalized and refreshed.
  • Stage 5 – This is the rapid eye movement Stage of sleep, it should make up 25% of the total amount of your quality sleep. If your REM sleep is broken then your sleep cycle goes out of sync and your next night’s sleep begins within this Stage.

What is the real link between sleep and your testosterone levels?’

sleep and testosterone levels
A current study showed that cutting back on your sleep can decrease your testosterone levels by up to 15% [1]. The quality of your sleep is an important factor, if you are having under 4 hours per night over a long period of time you are classed as being ‘sleep deprived‘. Unfortunately this will have some serious negatives on your training regime:

  • Your muscle gains and overall strength will be reduced
  • Energy levels will be lowered and you will not be able to lift as hard
  • Concentration levels with be lowered 
  •  You will feel fatigued quicker

The magic number is ‘8’ hours sleep, as it helps with testosterone production and overall growth. Research has indicated that 8 hours sleep does have a 60% higher increase in testosterone levels in healthy men when compared to those on 4 hours [1].

Poor Quality Sleep & Low Testosterone

Sleep apnea is a common but serious condition, that causes your breathing to be interrupted whilst sleeping. This interruption to your breathing can last from a few seconds to over a minute. Sleep apnea can cause the following:

  1. A low oxygen level within your body – this wakes you up when are in a deep slumber
  2. Broken up and poor quality of sleep – if untreated daytime sleepiness can be an issue here
  3. A whole host of health issues – high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, obesity and depression
  4. Reduces your testosterone levels – this is a vicious cycle of low testosterone levels caused by lack of sleep and increased night awakenings.

How to improve your quality of sleep

If you’re struggling to get enough sleep, make you try some of these tried and true methods:

  1. Sleep in complete darkness and switch off all of your electronics – the blue light from your devices can disturb the amount of sleeping hormone (melatonin) that your brain secretes
  2. Close down all mobile networks and your wifi connection – the electromagnetic signals can reduce the quality of your sleep
  3. Blast the gym hard – research has shown that train more, sleep more
  4. Sleep in a cold room – this mimics the natural environment of sleeping outside (as cavemen we were designed to sleep outside)
  5. Try to sleep naked if possible – your testicles need to be cooler than your body temperature. This also helps to boost your testosterone levels.
  6. Don’t eat a heavy meal before you hit the sack – this can overload your digestive system, which affects your quality of sleep.

Eat cherries 2 hours before bedtime

Cherries are particularly high in with vitamins A, C and are packed with antioxidants. Eat a small handful of cherries before you go to sleep as they help to boost your sleepy hormone (melatonin) levels, this helps you to get a peaceful and uninterrupted sleep.

Remember to eat them 2 hours before you hit the sack, this gives them enough time to digest properly and work their magic.

Monitoring you sleep patterns

You should try to sleep until you wake naturally. To look at  your sleep ‘patterns’ use a sleep chart and/or write it down in a journal. Focus on the following questions:

  1. What time did you go to bed?
  2. Was your sleep uninterrupted?
  3. How long did you sleep for?
  4. Did you fall asleep quickly?
  5. Did you feel fresh when you woke up?

Compare the answers to these questions over the first week and you will start to see a pattern.

Go to sleep at the right time for higher testosterone levels

It is important to sleep between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am, as this is the ultimate time for your ‘recovery’ hormones to come into play. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to hit the gym hard.

Our sleep-wake cycle is based on:

  • During our ‘hunter-gathering’ days and when the daylight went- we went to sleep because our internal body clock told us to do so
  • If our natural sleep-wake cycle is interrupted by artificial lights from your electronic gadgets- this can cause sleep problems, reduce your testosterone levels and lead to less training progress

Sleep and Testosterone Conclusion

Both ‘quality’ and ‘quantity’ of sleep can have an impact on your testosterone levels. If you want to get seriously jacked then aim for 8 hours per night of uninterrupted sleep.

This is key to releasing the most testosterone overnight and ensuring that you continue to keep making gains in the gym.

If you’re having problems with sleep, try one of our sleep improvement methods such as turning off screens with blue light, such as phones and laptops before you go to bed.

Follow these steps and you’ll have that optimal hormonal environment in no time.

Want even more Testosterone?

If you’ve already got your diet, training and sleep on lockdown, there’s another way to get more out of your testosterone levels: TestoFuel.

TestoFuel is a natural anabolic support complex that supplies your body with the extra nutrients your body needs to further boost your testosterone levels. If you’re looking for that added advantage both in the gym, and in your lifestyle, there is no better natural option.

Find out more about TestoFuel

Research

  1. R. Leproult, E. Van Cauter., Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2011; 305 (21): 2173

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