Preventing Diabetes
Improving Men's Health

Up all night – Poor sleep, obesity and low testosterone: what’s the true story?

Our study chair, Prof Gary Wittert, has been researching the effect of poor sleep on testosterone production in men.

Prof Wittert found that the highest levels of testosterone production occur at night. Levels begin to increase when you fall asleep, peak about 3 hours later, and are maintained until waking. Testosterone levels then fall throughout the day and are their lowest in the afternoon and evening.

Therefore people have wondered whether not getting enough sleep or sleeping poorly can affect the production of testosterone and lead to lower levels. It turns out that this is not the cause of decreased testosterone levels unless sleep is totally disrupted throughout the night.

In reality it is obesity that lowers testosterone and is a cause of poor sleep quality. Obese people are more likely to have daytime sleepiness.

Waking up at night for a wee?
Another reason for day time sleepiness is waking up to wee at night. It is not normal to have to do this more than once a night at any age! Getting up multiple times is most common in men who are obese and/or are heavy snorers. (Heavy snoring can be associated with brief pauses to breathing occurring frequently at night.)

Sound familiar? What can you do?
The good news is that even small amounts of weight loss (5-10kg in a man who weighs 100kg) will lead to an increase in testosterone levels, a decrease in waking up to wee and better quality sleep. All of this means people feel better and have more energy.

If only it were that easy…
Tell me about it! Losing weight and keeping it off is challenging for many of us. This is where the T4DM study comes in. We are a team of government-funded doctors and nurses who are experts in men’s health. Our study is looking at whether testosterone can help to prevent diabetes in overweight men aged 50-74 who do not have diabetes.

All men who join the study will receive 2 years free access to Weight Watchers (online or meetings, you choose) plus support from our study nurses and doctors to lose weight. We hope to support all our study participants to lose weight over the course of the study.

We don’t yet know whether testosterone can help protect you from developing diabetes but we do know for sure that losing weight can:

  • Improve urinary function and help to reverse problems like getting up for a wee in the night
  • Improve erectile function and help improve sex drive and erections
  • Reduce your risk of diabetes and many other serious health conditions

Want to know more about the T4DM study? Click here.

To join today click here.

Hear from one of our study participants, Keith in Perth.

Contact us with any questions you have on [email protected] or phone 1300 825 498.