Getting more sleep is one of the best ways to significantly boost your natural testosterone levels. In fact, improved quality of shut-eye can DOUBLE your testosterone levels.

sleep and testosterone

Off to the land of gains: Jay Cutler

Sleep, Testosterone, and Gains

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Proper rest – including proper sleep – is an often-overlooked aspect of the gains equation, with many lifters prepared to put in the regular hard work at the gym but unwilling to take their foot off the gas and kick back when they need to. The most successful bodybuilders, weightlifters and other strength athletes regularly extol the benefits of adequate rest as an essential part of their training. 

One study provides powerful substantiation of this wisdom with regard to sleep. It’s well known that sleep is critical to the body and brain, allowing it to replenish energy and carry out critical repairs. Scientists believe that a variety of critical processes occur during sleep, such as memory consolidation, information processing, physical growth and muscular repair. Sleep also appears to be vital to proper immune function.

At the same time, people are thought to be sleeping less and less well. In the US, the number of people experiencing short sleep (less than six hours a night) has been steadily increasing since at least 2013, putting the health of an increasing number of people at risk. Factors usually blamed include the increasingly stressful nature of modern-day life; the ubiquity of electronic equipment, especially computers and mobile phones, whose use before bed can interfere with the body’s vital circadian rhythms; and rising levels of obesity, which can cause obstructive conditions like sleep apnoea. 

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Using your phone in bed: not a good idea

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The study in question, led by Plamen Penev, showed that men can sometimes double their testosterone levels if they improve their sleep quality. The study builds on other studies that have already shown that poor sleep can play havoc with the body’s hormonal balance: one night’s bad sleep can reduce insulin sensitivity in young men by 20%, and that of diabetics by 25%.

It was already known that the body makes most testosterone when we are asleep, so the hypothesis that reduced sleep might disturb this process was valid prima facie. Penev’s study began from the dual premises that i) men as they age tend to sleep less and ii) although some older men experience steep declines in testosterone levels, others maintain high testosterone levels even into their eighties. A previous study had also showed that, while sleeping, men in their forties make less testosterone than men half their age.

Could the two premises be linked? Do men lose testosterone as they age because they sleep less? 

Penev first established a baseline morning testosterone reading for the subjects, 12 healthy non-smoking men between the ages of 64 and 74. He then got them to wear a device that monitored their sleeping pattern. The results clearly showed that those who slept the most experienced the greatest increase in testosterone levels when their testosterone was measured the next day.

The men that slept the least had testosterone levels in a normal to low (200-300ng/dl) range for their age, while the men who slept the most had levels (500-700ng/dl) that you might expect today in a healthy young man.

These conclusions suggest that before men consider testosterone replacement therapy, they might more sensibly consider measuring the amount of kip they get. As Penev notes, however, measuring should be done accurately, because most men estimate their sleep levels wrongly. Penev’s subjects thought they had slept an average of 7.25 hours a day, when in fact the average was only 6 hours.

Some testosterone replacement clinics have begun prescribing MK-677 or Ibutamoren — a growth hormone secretagogue — instead of testosterone. MK-677, in both my personal experience and the experience of dozens of reported users, can significantly improve rest quality and recovery times.

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Get more kip for top tier gains

Here at Herculean Strength we’ve declared war on the epidemic of low testosterone that is blighting the lives of modern men and may even be imperilling the future of the species. We will help you eat better – avoiding certain foods and choosing the right ones – avoid harmful environmental influences such as xenoestrogens and microplastics and choose powerful test-boosting supplements.

Don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] for personalized coaching and a client questionnaire if you’d like DEDICATED tailor-made personal training on strength training, building muscle, losing fat, developing athleticism, and more — all to your liking, lifestyle, habits, and taste!

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