How sleep affects the aging process: When it comes to the topic of aging, there are several factors that need to be taken into account when considering how sleep affects aging. Environment, genes, and lifestyle all play a role in the process. But even a simple activity like sleeping already has the potential to significantly impact how you age. Check out a few ways to slow down aging, our mustache styles, and the gentlemen's guide to anti-aging.
Similarly to women, men also face unwanted changes as they age, and some of these show up earlier due to lack of sleep. Physical transformations are the most noticeable, such as gray hair which we’ve tackled in a previous Beau Brummell blog post. In addition, Men’s Fitness shared a study by Jane Ferrie, a researcher from the University College London Medical School, which revealed that middle-aged men who lack sleep have difficulty in carrying out everyday activities.
But physical changes and the results of the aforementioned research are only a few of the many detrimental effects aging men will have to face if they continue to deprive themselves of sleep. Here are other serious repercussions that you need to consider, all of which are equally concerning.
Mental and physical fatigue are the results of sleep deprivation no matter what age or gender. However, it can have drastic consequences for aging men. While young men still have the resilience to gather up enough energy despite a lack of sleep, older men do not. Fatigue in aging men is felt more intensely and might even lead to dire circumstances if not addressed.
Similarly, aging men also face a decrease in productivity due to a lack of sleep. Leesa relayed a study by the National Sleep Foundation that found a direct relation between a good night’s sleep and performance in the workplace. It was specified that people who deprive themselves of sleep not only tend to have difficulty in concentration; their ability to refocus is impaired as well when faced with multiple distractions.
An experiment featured by Live Science demonstrated that lack of sleep was an independent factor in determining the cause of a drop of testosterone among men aged 64 - 74. It’s important to note, however, that the results of the research only applies to the men within the group sample, hence it should be viewed as “suggestive, not conclusive” according to Lawrence Epstein, medical director of Sleep Health Centers. Nonetheless, it was firmly established that a lack of sleep can hinder normal hormone secretions.
Decreased Sex drive
A direct consequence of reduced testosterone is a decrease in sex drive. The Telegraph showed the findings of scientists from the University of Chicago which detailed that men who sleep for only five hours a night get less excited about sexual intercourse. Moreover, the researchers also found that sleep deprivation causes reduced libido and poor reproduction.
While these facts and findings appear to be disconcerting, many of the experts believe that sleeping too much won’t help either. An increase in sleep might result in either the same effects or different defects, depending on the severity of sleep. The experts conclude that a balance will be the most logical answer to avoid the physical and mental declines brought about by a lack of sleep.
Although no there’s definitive number when it comes to a number of hours aging or middle-aged men should sleep per night, the best course of action is to simply aim for 8 hours per night depending on personal preference. If you’re still struggling to either sleep or you aren’t getting enough, you either need to consult a doctor or look at the external variables that are impacting your inability to get 8 hours.