When it comes to sleep, testosterone may be the somewhat forgotten hormone. We know a great deal about the importance of testosterone as the male sex hormone, its role in the body and the effects of testosterone deficits, particularly for men. But there’s been relatively little attention paid to the effects of testosterone on sleep, for both men and women. A recent review of research seeks to bring some much-needed attention to the role that testosterone plays in sleep.
Changes in testosterone levels occur naturally during sleep, both in men and women. Testosterone levels rise during sleep and decrease during waking hours. Research has shown that the highest levels of testosterone happen during REM sleep, the deep restorative sleep that occurs mostly late in the nightly sleep cycle. Sleep disorders, including interrupted sleep, lack of sleep, and reductions in the amount of REM sleep, will frequently lead to low testosterone levels. This is important for men and women.