A Clinical Perspective of Sleep and Andrological Health: Assessment, Treatment Considerations, and Future Research

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Oct 1;104(10):4398-4417. doi: 10.1210/jc.2019-00683.


Context: Sleep that is insufficient, misaligned, or disrupted causes hypersomnolence and neuropsychological deficits, adversely affects cardiometabolic health, and is increasingly recognized to impair other biological processes that lead to conditions important to men, such as hypogonadism, erectile dysfunction, and infertility.

Evidence acquisition: Literature review from 1970 to December 2018.

Evidence synthesis: High-quality and complementary epidemiological and interventional studies establish that abnormal sleep is associated with increased mortality, hypertension, and other cardiometabolic disorders (insufficient, disrupted, and misaligned sleep), as well as reduced fecundity and total sperm count (insufficient sleep), erectile dysfunction (disrupted sleep), and low testosterone (both). Circadian misalignment shifts the peak of testosterone's diurnal rhythm to occur soon after waking up, irrespective of the biological clock time, but it does not change the mean concentration. Preliminary studies show that extending sleep in individuals who are chronically sleep deprived may become a strategy to reduce insulin resistance and hypertension. Continuous positive airway pressure therapy can improve erectile function, and possibly systemic testosterone exposure, but only when used adherently by men with obstructive sleep apnea. Both high-dose and replacement-dose testosterone therapies modestly worsen sleep-disordered breathing, but they also improve cardiometabolic function and sexual desire. Persistence of either the adverse or beneficial outcomes over the longer term requires further investigation.

Conclusions: Sleep is increasingly recognized to be essential for healthy living. Establishing the effect of abnormal sleep, and of improving sleep, on andrological issues of prime interest to men will promote prioritization of sleep, and may thereby improve overall long-term health outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Androgens / metabolism*
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / methods
  • Erectile Dysfunction / diagnosis
  • Erectile Dysfunction / epidemiology*
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypogonadism / diagnosis
  • Hypogonadism / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy


  • Androgens