June 2, 2016 MEN’S HEALTH MONTH SERIES ARTICLE II Men are twice as likely to suffer from sleep apnea as women. In fact, just being male is one of the greatest risk factors for sleep apnea, as well as being overweight and over the age of 40. Anatomical differences in men, like more fat deposits around the neck and a more collapsable airway, make them more disposed to the nighttime pauses in breathing common in those with sleep apnea and sleep disorders. Testosterone levels start to decrease as men turn 30, but sleep apnea can be to blame for lowering testosterone even further. Testosterone levels rise during sleep, with the highest levels reached during rapid-eye movement (REM) cycles. Sleep apnea decreases both the quality and quantity of sleep, inhibiting the body’s ability to make testosterone. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that young men who were sleep deprived over only a week’s time saw a 15 percent decrease in their testosterone levels. Higher rates of erectile dysfunction are also confirmed among men with sleep apnea. While testosterone therapy may seem like the natural first step, it can actually make sleep apnea worse by exacerbating underlying breathing problems. Instead, treating the sleep apnea, including with oral appliance therapy, can be the best solution to improving sleep health, and in turn boosting testosterone levels. For men who are overweight or obese, weight loss of at least 15 percent also has a significant impact on rebounding testosterone levels, and can also improve sleep apnea and sleep disorders. Improved sleep health means better overall health If you are concerned you may have sleep apnea or a sleep disorder, take our quiz to assess your risk. Call Caffaratti Dental Group Sleep Solutions today at (775) 204-2532 to discuss your results. We can schedule an at-home sleep test to further assess your sleep health.