Important Facts about Testosterone Deficiency and Sleep Apnea
There are many important facts to understand about testosterone deficiency and sleep apnea, and what is presented here might be surprising. The link between Low T and sleep apnea is apparent. A study that was published back in 2011 in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported on the effects of sleep restriction in younger, healthy men. This determination was crucial because sleep patterns tend to decrease with age, causing adults to sleep less than the recommended 7 to 9 hours a night.
For this particular study, 10 men had their testosterone levels checked each day for the eight nights of sleep restriction of 5 hours. The results found that their daytime testosterone levels decreased by 10 to 15 percent, with the lowest levels appearing in the afternoon and evening hours. Energy levels progressively declined as the week went on.
What does this mean in terms of sleep apnea and testosterone deficiency?
Let’s continue on to another study to put the correlation together:
- At the 2012 American Urological meeting, a study was presented where 2,121 male law-enforcement officers were checked for an association between sleep apnea and low testosterone. Approximately 38 percent of the officers had Low T, and 43 percent were considered as having sleep apnea. The men who did have sleep apnea had a 50% greater chance of being diagnosed with low testosterone.
How Does Testosterone Deficiency Affect Sleep Apnea?
Now, let’s take a closer look at how testosterone deficiency may affect sleep apnea. The more that a person weighs – the greater the likelihood of the development of sleep apnea. Excess weight can have an impact on the airways during sleep. Doctors have found that overweight individuals with sleep apnea have an improvement in their symptoms when they lose weight.
This brings us to the next connection between testosterone deficiency and sleep apnea:
- Individuals dealing with Low T have a higher chance of being overweight.
Low testosterone has been linked to higher obesity levels in adults. Increased belly fat is responsible for the production of aromatase, an enzyme that converts excess testosterone into estradiol (estrogen) in the body. Higher levels of estrogen inhibit testosterone production, leading to an increase in belly fat – a vicious cycle.
Finally, the majority of testosterone that is produced in the body occurs at night. This is also the time that roughly half of the day’s growth hormone secretion takes place. Getting less than 7 hours of sleep will inhibit these hormones from being produced in enough of a volume to support their functions. Low levels of testosterone and growth hormone can lead to higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which inhibits sleep and the production of these hormones – another vicious cycle!
How Can Testosterone Treatment Improve Sleep Apnea?
Testosterone treatment can help improve sleep apnea, which in turn, can help a person sleep better, increasing testosterone production. This is a healthier cycle to report.
Here is what you should know about treatment for testosterone deficiency and sleep apnea:
- Weight Loss
Testosterone replacement therapy helps to promote proper metabolic functions in the body, effectively aiding in the reduction of belly fat and an increase in lean muscle mass. Weight loss helps to improve the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.
- Improved Cardiac Performance
Sleep deprivation, as in the case of people dealing with sleep apnea, can increase the risk of cardiovascular problems. This is especially problematic to report for women. Testosterone exerts a protective effect by reducing the inflammatory proteins that can lead to heart damage.
If you have sleep apnea, or believe that you might, and you also have other symptoms associated with low testosterone, contact Kingsberg Medical for a free consultation with a hormone replacement therapy specialist to see if testosterone treatment might help you.