Dwindling testosterone levels reduce sleep

Dwindling testosterone levels reduce sleep 300x200 Dwindling testosterone levels reduce sleepAt 30 years, male testosterone levels drop by one to two per cent annually. By age 40, men’s quality of sleep begins to diminish. Could there be a link between decreased testosterone and reduced sleep? Absolutely, according to Zoran Sekerovic, graduate student at the University of Montreal (UM) Department of Psychology. Sekerovic discovered a link between testosterone levels in men over 50 and their quality of sleep – specifically less deep sleep, that is, Phases III and IV of the slumber cycle.
Deep sleep is when the recuperation of body and mind is optimal,” said Sekerovic, adding his is the first
study to find this correlation. In young men, deep sleep represents 10 to 20 percent of total sleep. By age 50, it decreases to five to seven per cent. For men over 60, it can disappear altogether. The study didn’t find any correlation with other parts of the sleep cycle: Falling asleep, Phases I and II, or paradoxical sleep, when most of dreaming occurs. The UM researcher explained that men in their 20s don’t have such a correlation because their neuronal (brain cell) circuits are intact. “With age, there is neuronal loss and the synchronisation of cerebral activity isn’t as good, which is why there is a loss of deep sleep. Because deep sleep requires great synchronisation,” Sekerovic maintained. “Low levels of testosterone intensify the lack of synchronisation and can explain 20 per cent of men’s inability to experience deep sleep.” Sekerovic suggests dwindling testosterone levels are what impact sleep, not vice-versa, as other studies have suggested. He adds that previous investigations measured daily fluctuations in testosterone levels, which are higher in the morning. If Sekerovic is right, his findings could re-ignite the hormone therapy debate. “The loss of deep sleep is a serious problem that could be treated with testosterone. That would be tremendous progress,” Sekerovic said. “But hormone therapy can have secondary effects. Therefore, it will be essential to better understand the mechanisms leading to the loss of deep sleep,” he added, according to an UM release.
The study was conducted under the supervision of Julie Carrier, UM professor of psychology. Sekerovic presented his findings at the annual conference of the Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS).

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