Updated: Mar 19
Find out how a good night’s sleep can do wonders for your testosterone levels and lacklustre lockdown libido.
Since lockdown, a serious lack of sleep is causing our nocturnal bedroom fun action to hit the snooze button.
As the light is finally at the end of the tunnel and with the end of lockdown now firmly in our sights, it’s time to reclaim our bedrooms and bring sexy back! And just in time for Summer.
Whilst initially it was predicted that being stuck at home would lead to a baby boom, it appears that instead us Brits ditched bedroom antics for booze and take-aways. As quickly as our bank balances were depleted from furlough, our waistlines took an unwelcome boost.
For men, this has not been good news for testosterone levels which are already at an all-time low. For their partners, it’s equally not such great news and they may have started noticing a distinct lack of action and / or the decreased ability to perform.
What’s this got to do with sleep?
It’s no secret that a good night’s sleep is important for your health, but many people aren’t aware of how sleep can impact testosterone levels specifically and what effects it can have on their mental and physical health not to mention their personal lives. Testosterone is responsible for many important functions in the body and low levels lead to many unpleasant symptoms and longer term chronic conditions if unaddressed.
Men’s testosterone levels are on a daily (24 hour) cycle. Levels peak in the morning, declining throughout the day and tailing off in the evening. The highest levels of testosterone production occur during REM sleep, the period late in the sleep cycle that helps replenish the body and mind. As a result, it doesn’t take long for poor sleep quality to cause lowering levels of testosterone and also knock the important balance of hormones that the body strives hard to achieve, completely off.
One study found that after 8 days of 5.5 hours of sleep or less each night, participants showed a 10-15 per cent drop in testosterone production on average. The study concluded that these findings were due to the men being unable to stay long enough in deep sleep to receive the natural benefits that come with it.
Low testosterone also appears to be linked to lower quality sleep and fewer deep sleep cycles thereby creating somewhat of a vicious cycle.
Feeling tired and fatigued whilst also a sign of poor sleep habits, it’s also a symptom of low testosterone, according to the American Urological Association. With 1 in 4 men in the UK experiencing low T or testosterone deficiency, it’s a way more common issue than most people think.
Boosting your libido – why timing for men is everything!
Now we know testosterone levels are at their peak when men wake up, it’s no wonder that this coincides with the timing of men’s daily morning glory!
This is natures wonderful way of showing that testosterone levels are fully replenished and you’re ready to go. This therefore is the most optimum time for sex, so any babymakers set your alarm clocks (but not too early) and let nature do its work.
If timing sex for maximum fertility, be mindful not to stress about this as annoyingly this leads to another hormone – cortisol – being released which in turn negatively impacts testosterone and reduces your sex drive (libido) leading to potential erectile dysfunction (which can also be a sign of low T).
Eat your way to a good night’s sleep and fuel your sexual appetite
The foods you eat are crucial for sexual health. Research indicates that particular vitamins have demonstrated positive effects on testosterone levels. Others encourage health erections & sex drive. Nature’s arsenal also provides an array of nutrients to promote a good night’s sleep which is also naturally boosted by the powerful endorphins released during orgasm (for both sexes!). Proving a win-win all round.
Watermelon contains citrulline which releases amino acids in the body. Arginine is responsible for vascular health and studies have shown that it helps with healthy erections and increase your libidos.
Reach for the chocolate! Not the milk kind but the dark chocolate that is rich in cacao. It contains anandamide, which is full of antioxidants and phenylethylamine, aka the “love chemical.” to rev up low libidos. Dark chocolate also increases both serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, making us happier, lowering our stress level and directly promoting good sleep.
Magnesium is a powerhouse mineral that men are often deficient in. Research shows that increasing your magnesium intake can raise testosterone levels within a month. It’s also a natural sleep aid. By supplementing you can experience longer sleep times, deeper sleep patterns and fewer early morning waking’s, leaving you more rejuvenated for the day ahead. In addition, it is proven to help energy levels and supports a healthy heart meaning it’s a super mineral that all men should be taking. Nuts are the richest source so make them your go-to snack today.
Check out Bertie’s latest IGTV episode of DNA: Ask The Expert ‘What’s Sleep Got To Do With Our Hormones’
You can also download our Top 10 Tips For A Healthy Night Sleep here