The Male Hormone Cycle
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- Instead of having a month-long hormone cycle like women, men go through an entire hormone cycle every 24 hours. Men also have about 10 times more testosterone than women, so their hormone cycle is usually all about how their testosterone affects them.
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Women aren’t the only ones with a hormone cycle. Men have a hormone cycle, too—but, there are big differences.
Instead of having a month-long hormone cycle like women, men go through an entire hormone cycle every 24 hours.
Men also have about 10 times more testosterone than women, so their hormone cycle is usually all about how their testosterone affects them. A man’s body does make estrogen and progesterone like a woman’s body, but in much smaller amounts.
Here’s a timeline of what you can generally expect from a man’s daily hormone cycle:
Morning: Testosterone is highest
Once he shakes off the fog of sleep, high testosterone makes him more energetic, talkative, aggressive, focused, competitive, independent, impulsive and confident. During these peak testosterone hours, he may also be more easily angered (for instance, if he stubs his toe, he might lose his top) and be more likely to say “no” to a favor or request. His virility is at a high point. So is his ability to put together furniture, read maps and do other tasks that require spatial skills.
Best time for him to… assemble a DIY desk, compete in a contest, work on a project solo, figure out the best driving route, enjoy passionate sex.
Afternoon: Testosterone is in the middle of its cycle
He’s a tad mellower than his morning self, but isn’t going on empty just yet. As a result, he’s still upbeat, driven and focused, but not as easily ticked off (that stubbed toe would likely elicit a much shorter, less intense burst of swear words). He’s more open to working with others rather than going solo.
Best time for him to… work as part of a team, pitch clients or customers, brainstorm ideas, go on a date.
Evening: Testosterone is lowest
With testosterone bottoming out, he tends to be more passive, agreeable and low-key, making this a good time to ask him for a favor or other request since he’s more likely to grant it. He may feel tired or fuzzy—especially before he’s had a chance to recharge after work or eat dinner. At this point, his libido hits its lowest point. For some men, this low point is still enough to make them capable of enjoying passionate sex; other men may feel too tired for intimacy or have difficulty maintaining an erection.
Best time for him to… do activities that rejuvenate his energy if he wants a pick-me-up (such as playing an instrument or exercising), enjoy relaxing activities in keeping with his current low energy level (such as reading or watching a documentary), cuddle with his partner.
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Even though men have a daily hormone cycle pattern that repeats the same way every day, their testosterone level can be greatly affected by a variety of activities and experiences:
- Research shows that a man’s testosterone spikes when he drinks alcohol or caffeine, watches an action movie, looks at a person he finds sexually attractive (either in real life or simply an image), plays video games or competes in or anticipates a sports game or game of chess. His testosterone also rises when he simply watches his favorite team compete.
- When a man experiences a spike in his testosterone, this can make him more impulsive and increase his desire to take risks. It’s no wonder that advertisements geared toward men (for example, for “muscle” cars) and casinos use physically attractive models and employees when marketing to males. Research shows that a sudden rise in testosterone makes men likely to spend more money and take other financial risks.
- A sharp rise in testosterone can also make men more aggressive, which may be one reason why some men who watch their favorite sports team win a major tournament then go on to celebrate by rioting in the streets and turning over cars. Sure, beer likely helps fuel that behavior, but high testosterone plays a role, too.
- Testosterone can plunge suddenly, too. For example, research shows that when a man watches his favorite sports team lose a game, his testosterone dips sharply (this doesn’t occur in women when they watch their team lose). This decline in testosterone can then make him blue, cranky or lethargic.