Redefining strength: Men’s journey to a better sleep.

Written by: Pierre-Olivier Gaudreault, PhD. Psychologist specialized in sleep medicine at HALEO Clinic.

Published on: April 9, 2024 | Reading time: 🕐 3m

Man sleeping

With high work demands and long hours on the job, combined with daily stress and family obligations, we often believe fatigue and sleepiness as something normal that we must get used to. At the end of the day, isn’t needing more sleep just another annoying way to decrease our overall productivity?

What if I was telling you that a better sleep quality can instead protect your performances, maximize your productivity, and reduce risks of accidents which, let’s face it, would directly hinder your ability to work.

What makes men not get enough sleep?

Aside from the ever-rising pressure of our family/work obligations and failing to recognize the signs and symptoms of needing more sleep, multiple biological factors such as specific sleep disorders, the influence of sex hormones, and their association with stress reactivity can explain why men do not get enough sleep.

Common sleep disorders in men

In addition to these factors from our daily lives, sleep disorders such as insomnia and restless legs syndrome (i.e., unpleasant sensations in the legs getting worse in the evening and being mainly alleviated with movements) can also impact the quality of our sleep.

Obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder characterized by breathing interruptions during sleep is known to be significantly more prevalent among men, with other risk factors including obesity and aging.1

The association between sex hormones and sleep in men

Men and women sleep differently in part due to the specific influence of sex hormones. Testosterone, the male sex hormone, is following a natural rhythm of increasing at the end of our sleep period, with good quality sleep being essential for maintaining healthy testosterone levels.2

Studies suggest that poor sleep, and even a high level of respiratory events can lead to low testosterone levels, which can cause fatigue, insomnia, sexual problems, weight gain, and mood swings.3

How are stress, sleep, and hormones connected?

Not only poor sleep quality reduces testosterone levels, but chronic insomnia and sleep loss has also been shown to alter the regulation of our stress hormones, such as the cortisol level. In fact, high cortisol levels, whether it’s from bad sleep or a significant increase in workload can also lead to a reduction in testosterone concentration, leading to a cycle of stress and sleep disruptions.

How can men get better sleep?

  • Get regular check-ups with your primary care physician to ensure normal hormonal functioning.

  • Ask your doctor to investigate whether your sleep problems are not caused by medical conditions (i.e., obstructive sleep apnea, thyroid problems, etc.) or medication side-effects.

  • Regular exercise, a healthy diet, stress management, and maintaining good sleep hygiene can help improve sleep quality and potentially normalize hormone levels.

Need help with your sleep? 

I want HALEO for me

We can help you! HALEO offers a solution that can contribute to productivity and well-being through quality sleep. Schedule a discovery meeting by booking your time here." 

I want to offer HALEO to my organization



By: Pierre-Olivier Gaudreault, PhD. Psychologist specialized in sleep medicine at HALEO Clinic.



  1. Young, T., Palta, M., Dempsey, J., Skatrud, J., Weber, S., & Badr, S. (1993). The occurrence of sleep-disordered breathing among middle-aged adults. The New England journal of medicine, 328(17), 1230–1235.
  2. Andersen, M. L., & Tufik, S. (2008). The effects of testosterone on sleep and sleep-disordered breathing in men: its bidirectional interaction with erectile function. Sleep medicine reviews, 12(5), 365–379.
  3. Wittert G. (2014). The relationship between sleep disorders and testosterone in men. Asian journal of andrology, 16(2), 262–265.
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