Are You Aging Yourself by 15 Years?

Reader Question:  I am 39 years old, and have always been thin. I wanted to start building muscle to attract my wife, but wasn’t getting great results.  

I decided to get a physical to see what was going on. I really didn’t think there was any problem with my testosterone levels because my libido and everything else seem okay, but I got it tested just for the heck of it. It was a huge shock when my levels came back at 261! I had no idea I was so low. 

My lifestyle in general is pretty healthy. I eat clean, am pretty active and have never been overweight. We go to bed late most nights; I probably average about 5 hours of sleep a night. Could that be what’s affecting my testosterone levels?



This is a question I get fairly often and the answer is YES!! Losing sleep for even a short time can lower your testosterone substantially. In fact, in one study, a group of healthy guys in their 20’s who went short on sleep for only 8 days lowered their testosterone levels by the same amount as if they had aged 10-15 years! That’s a fairly sobering reality.

Poor sleep quality and lack of sleep are known endocrine disruptors and play havoc with not only testosterone, but also thyroid levels. Thyroid and testosterone deficiency affect energy, ability to focus, libido, anxiety levels and muscle gains.

In addition, losing sleep can make you fat. One important study showed that losing just a few hours of sleep for just a few nights in a row causes the average person to gain about 2 pounds. Depriving yourself of sleep for even one night affects the way you respond to junk food, making you respond more strongly to the temptation to eat it and giving you less impulse control.

The take-away here is that if you’re struggling to focus at work, gaining weight or not making gains in the gym, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to get some sleep. Studies show us that 8 hours is optimal for most people.