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The Effect of Sleep on Testosterone Levels

Daniel Brady | January 16, 2013 in Supplements
Sleeping and Testosterone

In this article we look at the effect of good and bad quality sleep on testosterone levels. We then look at ways of improving sleep quality. Read on to see the results.

We have seen this chart before in our article on Increasing Testosterone Naturally, but it’s worth revisiting. This chart shows that partial sleep restriction reduces testosterone levels by 10-20%. Having 10-20% less testosterone than you could have, does make a significant change to your body composition, since testosterone has a direct correlation with strength and muscle gains[1] (6kg Muscle in 10 Weeks with Testosterone Injections).

Sleep Deprivation Effect on Testosterone

Sleep Quality and Testosterone

Studies this that not reaching REM stage while sleeping causes testosterone to not rise. [2] REM sleep is the stage in which you dream[3], so if you dream, then your testosterone rises throughout the night, but if your sleep is disrupted enough to never reach REM stage then your testosterone remains depressed. The following chart shows testosterone levels in disrupted and continuous sleep. Testosterone rises much faster in uninterrupted sleep.

Disrupted Versus Continuous Sleep

The arrow on the chart above shows the point where REM sleep is achieved, so it shows that testosterone accelerates until you hit REM sleep, then stabilizes. If your sleep is regularly interrupted however, your testosterone levels fail to rise significantly. These results suggest that the first 3 uninterrupted hours of sleep are the most important to elevate testosterone, and any additional interrupted hours help testosterone to remain elevated.


To maximize testosterone levels from sleep you should remove all sources of sleep interruption. That could be by turning off your computer, phone, lights and TV or wearing an eye mask, ear plugs, making the room temperature comfortable and using the toilet before bed. Also, increasing your sleep towards 10 hours is optimal. The better your sleep, the higher your testosterone and in turn, your strength and muscle gains.

  1. Effect of 1 Week of Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in Young Healthy Men. Rachel Leproult, PhD; Eve Van Cauter, PhD []
  2. Disruption of the nocturnal testosterone rhythm by sleep fragmentation in normal men. RAFAEL LUBOSHITZKY, ZIVA ZABARI, ZILLA SHEN-ORR, PAULA HERER, AND PERETZ LAVIE []
  3. Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep. []

Daniel has a strong interest in evidence supported fitness training, preparation and supplementation. His goal is to provide clear information that simply works. He's currently 16 kg of muscle above his starting weight (7kg in the past 12 months), and targeting a continued growth rate of 5kg+ per year.
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