New research indicates that beds and male testosterone levels may have something more in common than sex. A researcher at the University of Montreal Department of Psychology has discovered a link between testosterone levels in men and their quality of sleep.
It’s long been known that testosterone levels begin to drop by one or two percent a year beginning at approximately age 30. But by age 40, men’s quality of sleep also begins to diminish.
Zoran Sekerovic, a graduate student, presented his findings at the annual conference of the Association Francophone Pour le Savoir (ACFAS). He reported a link between testosterone levels in men over 50 and their Phases III and IV sleep. While in young men, deep sleep represents 10 to 20 percent of total sleep, by age 50 it decreases to five to seven percent and can disappear altogether for men over 60.
The study found no correlation with other parts of the sleep cycle: falling asleep, Phases I and II, or paradoxical sleep, when most dreaming occurs.
It appears that the neuronal circuits of men in their 20s are essentially intact but, with aging, there is a loss of neuronal circuits and the quality of synchronization of cerebral activity begins to deteriorate slightly – perhaps accounting for a loss of deep sleep, which requires greater synchronization. “Lower levels of testosterone intensify the lack of synchronization and explain 20 percent of men’s inability to experience deep sleep,” explains Sekerovic.
He suggests that decreasing testosterone levels are what impact sleep, not vice-versa.
“The loss of deep sleep is a serious problem that could be treated with testosterone,” observes Sekerovic. “That would be tremendous progress. But hormone therapy can have secondary effect. Therefore, it will be essential to better understand the mechanisms leading to the loss of deep sleep.”
“Sekerovic’s suggestions have great potential for increasing the quality of sleep for many men,” notes Francis J. Flynn, Psy.D.,CAP, president of the Brain Training Centers of Florida. “I frequently encourage men with sleep problems to take a number of positive steps including increasing the quantity and quality of their cardio-vascular/aerobic workouts, adding weight/strength training, and requesting that their physicians conduct testosterone level blood tests.”
In addition, Flynn reports, his office runs a full scale electroencephalographic study of clients’ brains to determine if specific areas of the brain increase their activity levels at night.
“It seems counter-intuitive but in the vast majority of Brain Training clients who complain of sleep difficulties and report rarely waking feeling rested and refreshed the activity levels of their brains actually increases when their eyes are closed. That makes restful sleep extremely difficult. By reversing this process, we can quickly and easily restore healthy sleep – often after years of restless nights,” reports Flynn. “And, of course, the greatest advantages are that we can do this without medication and frequently within four or five days.”
At the Brain Training Centers of Florida we utilize Brain Wave Optimization to assist our clients with their sleep. After training their brains with us, most of our clients have improved their sleeping patterns which in turn has benefited the chemical balances of their b