Unique Sleep Issues Men Face

This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation


Why you guys may not be getting enough shut-eye

While both men and women can suffer from sleep problems, the issues that face men can be unique. Sometimes the cause is due to attitude—you might think that there’s a stigma that prioritizing sleep is a sign that you’re not working hard enough. Sometimes the cause is that you just don’t know how much sleep you really need. Other times you could be unaware of certain sleep issues that target men more than women or how the two sexes sleep differently. All of these problems and more are standing in the way of you feeling more rested, energized, and ready to tackle life.

  1. You Have Too Many Other Priorities. Think about your typical day. It may include work, a trip to the gym, time with friends, and quality time with your wife or children. No wonder you squeezed in only six hours of shut-eye. With all of those demands, it’s obvious why sleep comes in a distant last in priorities. Here’s how to fix that: Jot down everything that you spend time doing in a week. What can wait? What can be delegated to someone else? As other tasks drop lower, sleep can move toward the top of your priority list meaning you’ll be better rested when tackling your hectic days.
  2. You’re At a Higher Risk for Sleep Apnea. Men are more susceptible to sleep apnea than women due to a connection between testosterone and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing stops and starts during sleep. It affects between four and nine percent of adult men and can be caused by low testosterone levels. That’s why one treatment plan is testosterone therapy. If you’re overweight, getting down to a healthy range and avoiding alcohol will also help reduce symptoms.
  3. You Don’t Seek Treatment for Depression. Many men have a hard time seeking help for mental health issues like depression. Some choose to ignore it, while others worry that it isn’t macho to admit that they are depressed. Unfortunately, an issue like depression that's left untreated can affect every part of your life, including your sleep. You could notice that it feels impossible to fall asleep at night or tough to get out of bed in the morning. Seeking help from a therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist is the best way to deal with depression and get back to a healthy place.
  4. You Have Other Male Medical Issues. As you get older, health problems may end up impacting your sleep. For example, an enlarged prostate, which can hit more than half of men by the age of 60, can cause you to wake up throughout the night to pee. Other sleep disruptors could be conditions like asthma, heart disease, and arthritis, or medications.