Risk factors for sleep apnea include being male, overweight, and over the age of 40, but sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age. Of the estimated 4 percent to 6 percent of American men suffering from sleep apnea, most don't know the danger they're in. Men tend to have larger necks and weigh more than women.
Testosterone is typically thought of in terms of its roles in libido, male fertility, energy, aggression and drive, so the fact that sleep patterns and testosterone levels are closely related may come as a surprise to many. In fact, sleep apnea and low testosterone levels often go hand in hand.
Sleep quality and quantity both affect testosterone levels. Levels of sex hormones, including testosterone, rise as we sleep and decrease when we’re awake, with the most marked increase occurring during periods of deep, restorative sleep, called REM sleep. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea reduce the amount of REM sleep a person gets.
This interaction between testosterone levels and sleep apnea can become a viscous cycle for some men. Low testosterone can lead to more sleep-quality issues. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology, men with low testosterone have reduced sleep efficiency, increased nighttime awakenings, less REM sleep and more severe symptoms related to sleep apnea and other forms of
Not all of men’s sleep apnea problems have to do with Testosterone but it is another factor that you may want to speak to your doctor about.