July 23, 2006
Sleeping With Women Drains Male Brains?

University of Vienna Austria researcher Gerhard Kloesch arranged for childless couples to sleep 10 days together and 10 days apart. Both wives and husbands slept more poorly together and men suffered more degraded performance than the wives did.

While men thought they slept better with a partner, and women believed they didn't, actually both sexes had more disturbed sleep, even when they did not have sex. Lack of sleep led to increased stress hormone levels in men, and reduced their ability to perform simple cognitive tests the next day.

Women can handle interruptions more easily. The reason is probably Darwinian: Natural selection selected for females that can handle the interrupts of babies and children. Whereas men spent more time out concentrating on one task at a time such as hunting.

A sleep expert in England says married couples shouldn't be so determined to sleep together.

Dr Neil Stanley, a sleep expert at the University of Surrey, said: "It's not surprising that people are disturbed by sleeping together.

"Historically, we have never been meant to sleep in the same bed as each other. It is a bizarre thing to do.

"Sleep is the most selfish thing you can do and it's vital for good physical and mental health.

"Sharing the bed space with someone who is making noises and who you have to fight with for the duvet is not sensible.

Once the sex becomes infrequent (or so married men assure me) why not sleep apart some of the time?

Marriage doesn't just make men dumber. It also takes away some of their drive. Previous research has shown that getting married lowers male testosterone and having kids lowers it even further.

Gray studied testosterone in saliva collected from 58 men (48 of them Harvard students) between the ages of 20 and 41. Half were married, and of those, 15 were married with children. He took four saliva samples from each man: two in the morning and two in the evening. The subjects also completed questionnaires about their demographic, marital, and parenting backgrounds. Among other things, the questionnaires asked how much time the men spent with their spouses (instead of hanging out with the guys) on their last day off from work, and measured the effort they expended caring for their children. Analysis showed that marriage, fatherhood, and longer periods spent with wives and children were all linked to lower testosterone levels. Fathers in particular had levels significantly lower than those of unmarried men. Researchers also observed that hormone levels in the morning samples were high and relatively even among the men; the differences appeared at night.

On the other hand, the lower testosterone might reduce the risk of prostate cancer and reduce the general rate of aging.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2006 July 23 03:24 PM  Brain Sleep

crush41 said at July 23, 2006 6:36 PM:

Double-posted Randall.

rsilvetz said at July 23, 2006 11:28 PM:

I would take the saliva testosterone results with a massive grain of salt. Saliva testing is a shade better than random noise. Until they start doing these tests with equilibrium dialysis of serum free-testosterone, don't believe a word.

Plus, there's a natural circadian rythm of testosterone, one would expect it to be high in the a.m. and low in the p.m.

rsilvetz said at July 24, 2006 12:01 PM:

"On the other hand, the lower testosterone might reduce the risk of prostate cancer and reduce the general rate of aging."

Don't know about ageing, but low testosterone is associated with every type of degenerative disease in males, including prostate cancer. Contrary to intuition, high testosterone is protective across the board. The devil is in the details and really understanding the literature.

It's not that testosterone induces or carries a risk of prostate cancer. The key issue is if the male is a) a high DHT producer and b) a high estradiol producer. High testosterone males that don't do the DHT dance and don't do the estradiol dance, have zip risk of prostate cancer. Since one can control both DHT and estradiol production with the appropriate class of inhibitor drug, properly performed bioidentical hormone replacement coupled with DHT/estradiol suppression is the way to go.

Randall Parker said at July 24, 2006 4:43 PM:


So then if one took testosterone but also took a DHT inhibitor one would be in better shape!? Wow, I had no idea.

So dutasteride or finasteride might be good to take long term. I've always wondered about that.

rsilvetz said at July 24, 2006 7:14 PM:

Hi Randall,

Yes. An ideal bioidentical hormone formulation formed of DHEA, 7-keto-DHEA, melatonin, some human testsosterone, plust DHT-inhibition, plus low (low!) dose estradiol-inhibition, and one should be good to go.

My own personal values are still high (and noone is as surprised as I am) but in another few years I should be crossing the thresholds, and I will probably go on some subset of the formulation above.


teressa armstrong said at November 5, 2007 12:19 AM:

Once a man has been diagnosed with PIN, precancerous cells in his prostate can a high teststerone level cause or highten the likelehood of the cells turning cancerous?

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