Have you noticed that you have less sexual drive whenever you’re drowsy? When you’re drowsy, your body functions shut down and that does include your testosterone production. But have you ever wondered how exactly drowsiness causes low testosterone? This sequence of events happens as follows:
Testosterone Drowsiness / Sleepiness Association
- Your thoughts of sleepiness and drowsiness are controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus in your anterior hypothalamus. First, your hypothalamus receives input from your retina, which provides information about darkness and light. Normally, you fall asleep at night because there’s less light in the environment. If you are drowsy however, your vision is blurred and cloudy. In this case, your light perception is altered and sends wrong signals to your hypothalamus.
- Second, this hypothalamic activation leads to the release of melatonin which is a potent sleep inducer. This is when you begin to fall asleep.
- Normally, your testosterone production is controlled by hypothalamic-pituitary axis. This part of the brain sends gonadotropin-releasing and leutinizing hormones to the Leydig cells of your testes, allowing it to release testosterone. However, when your body is about to go to sleep, your hypothalamus releases high amounts of serotonins and gamma-aminobutyric acid instead.
- Since your hypothalamus is busy in secreting serotonins and gamma-aminobutyric acid, the hypothalamic stimulation for the secretion of testosterone is halted. This explains how drowsiness causes low testosterone levels.
Constant low levels of testosterone could lead to impotence. This happens because the testes are under stimulated to a point that it fails to release testosterone to cause arousal during the intercourse. Additionally, if you are undergoing puberty, you normally have increased testosterone production. This amount of testosterone is enough to support your body as it goes through changes in puberty. However, if you’re experiencing constant drowsiness in this stage, some changes in your body may be delayed.
So, it is very advisable to avoid activities that cause drowsiness to promote growth. Likewise, various unhealthy activities such as alcohol abuse and excessively strenuous physical activities can cause drowsiness and should also be avoided as much as possible.