Typically people take DHEA suppplements in the morning because of the effects on various hormones. In reality, you can also consider using a supplement at night when REM sleep occurs. Having optimal levles of DHEA can help reverse poor quality sleep and other adverse effects.

Why Take DHEA At Night?

Last modified on September 7th, 2023

There are reasons if you’re wondering why take DHEA at night or how to time taking this potentially powerful supplement.

DHEA stands for dehydroepiandrosterone, a hormone the adrenal glands produce.

Your body naturally uses DHEA to make both estrogens and androgens. Estrogens are female sex hormones, and androgens are male hormones.

Once you are around 25, your DHEA levels peak and steadily decline.

Once you’re 70 to 80 years old, your DHEA levels are only 10-20% of what they are in younger adults.

Since levels of DHEA decline as we age, researchers think using it as a supplement could be a potentially potent anti-aging treatment.

Low levels of DHEA are associated with breast cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, and memory loss.

Below, we explore why to take DHEA at night and provide an overview of DHEA supplementation.

Low DHEA Levels: What to Know

Before supplementing with DHEA, it’s possible to check your natural levels.

It’s involved in testosterone synthesis and estradiol synthesis in men and women.

It’s not as strong as testosterone, but it’s important for men with low levels.

For example, having adequate DHEA levels as a man can ensure that DHT levels are maintained when there’s deficient testosterone production.

In women, DHEA levels contribute to around 90% of hormones circulating after menopause.

Symptoms of low levels can include:

  • Weight gain is often because of hormonal imbalances involving the sex hormones that control water retention and energy metabolism. Taking a DHEA supplement may help change how the cells of the liver work, and it can modulate your metabolism.
  • Low levels are linked to depression, although having high levels of DHEA can also cause mental health side effects like disinhibition or risky behaviors.
  • Since DHEA is a sex hormone, deficiency symptoms are often linked to sexual dysfunction. In studies, men with erectile dysfunction are more likely to have low levels, and in women, DHEA helps keep up hormone levels after menopause, so lower levels can lead to lower sex drive.
  • Sometimes you’ll hear DHEA called the youth hormone; when someone has problems with inflammation, psoriasis, or even allergies, they could be deficient. Since it’s a steroid hormone, DHEA can suppress inflammation as with other steroids, but not having enough can mean chronic inflammation.
  • Having low levels of DHEA can cause problems with memory and the function of the brain.
  • Low levels may be an underlying cause of chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Reduced bone density and osteoporosis.
  • Higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

There are ways to raise your DHEA levels naturally, even without a supplement.

For example, learning healthy ways to deal with stress can be a good way to increase your DHEA. When you cope with stress healthily, it helps you have balanced cortisol levels to preserve proper adrenal function.

Getting enough sleep, having a balanced diet with plenty of healthy fats, and exercising are all important for producing steroids.

Why take DHEA at night? Find out everything you should know about taking DHEA supplements safely and effectively.

Causes of DHEA Declines

DHEA begins increasing as a child is around the age of 9 or 10.

Then, DHEA levels peak between 20 and 35 and begin declining.

Even though levels naturally decline as we age, conditions like a damaged adrenal gland or hypopituitarism can lead to lower-than-normal levels.

Other causes for levels that drop more than what would be considered normal include:

  • If you have ongoing anxiety or high stress levels, it can contribute to high cortisol levels. Cortisol and DHEA will usually have an inverse relationship, so if your cortisol is too high, your DHEA might be too low.
  • The pituitary gland doesn’t produce the normal amount of hormones—this is known as hypopituitarism.
  • Adrenal gland disorders can cause lower-than-expected levels of DHEA. One disorder is Addison’s disease, but you could also have an autoimmune disorder that damages your adrenals.
  • Taking glucocorticoid medicines can lower levels.
Taking DHEA supplements can help support healthy dhea levels, and that in turn can have benefits for men, and both premenopausal women and women who have already gone through menoapause. You do have to be careful with certain conditions like hormone sensitive cancers and PCOS. Studies suggest DHEA may help with a variety of hormonal imbalance symptoms. So why take DHEA at night?

Benefits of DHEA Supplementation

A DHEA supplement may help balance hormones, replenishing the levels you naturally lose as you age.

Your levels start to decrease around 30, and low levels and heart disease are associated with depression.

Taking it as a supplement can increase your body’s DHEA levels and converts them to testosterone and estrogen.

The potential benefits of supplementing with DHEA can include:

  • Increased bone density: Some evidence suggests that lower DHEA levels are associated with decreased bone density and a higher risk of bone fractures. Supplementing may, at least according to some research, improve bone density, especially in older women.
  • Higher testosterone: Supplementing may increase testosterone levels in men, and in some studies, it helped improve upper and lower body strength in older adults.
  • Combatting depression: In studies, especially looking at women getting close to menopause, those with severe depression also seem to have lower DHEA levels. Research shows that DHEA supplements could help treat depression, especially in people with mild symptoms or whose symptoms don’t respond to traditional treatments.
  • Sexual function and libido: A supplement affecting sex hormones also has an impact on sexual function in a variety of ways.  For example, DHEA supplementation may improve ovary function in women with fertility problems. Studies also show that DHEA supplementation can improve sexual function and libido in men and women. In men, evidence suggests these supplements might help men with erectile dysfunction get and maintain erections.
  • Adrenal problems: DHEA supplements can help with certain adrenal problems. The adrenals are glands on top of the kidneys and are the main producer of DHEA. If you have adrenal insufficiency, your glands can’t produce enough hormones. DHEA supplements have been researched to help with certain symptoms of adrenal insufficiency. In studies of women with adrenal insufficiency, DHEA helped reduce depression and anxiety and improved sexual satisfaction and overall well-being.
  • Menopause symptoms: Some specific menopause symptoms taking a DHEA supplement may help include reduced sex drive and vaginal dryness. In some preliminary studies, supplementing raised certain hormone levels in pre-and postmenopausal women.
  • Lupus: Certain studies have shown benefits for people with lupus, especially with higher doses.
  • Body composition and muscle mass: Having low natural levels of DHEA can negatively affect your metabolic and overall health. Using a supplement might improve your lean body mass and reduce fat mass. It may also improve the results you see from strength training.
If you have low levels of sex hormone taking a DHEA supplement may be able to help support optimal levels. FOr example it can reducec too much testosterone or too much estrogen to get enough DHEA. Why take DHEA at night?


There aren’t standardized doses with supplements, including DHEA supplements, since the FDA doesn’t regulate them.

Common doses of DHEA used in studies are 25 to 50 mg.

There are reports of some people using doses of anywhere from 10 to 500 mg a day.

Typically, a 50 mg daily dose has been shown safe.

The potential side effects of DHEA can include more hair growth in the pubic area and armpits, as well as oilier skin and acne.

If you have cancer affected by sex hormones, you shouldn’t take DHEA.

If you’re under 40, you should speak to your doctor before taking the supplement; they can check your levels beforehand.

If you have hormone-related conditions like PCOS or endometriosis, you should speak to your healthcare provider before taking this supplement because it could worsen the symptoms.

When To Take DHEA?

The best time to take DHEA is typically in the morning, if possible.

You can take a once-daily dose.

You might want to start by taking a lower dose of 25 mg and working your way up to the recommended dosage of 50 mg.

Why Take DHEA in the Morning?

Along with wondering why take DHEA at night, you might also wonder why take DHEA in the morning?

It follows a pattern similar to cortisol levels, which are higher in the morning and lower in the evening.

If you’re supplementing once a day, you want to try and mimic sleep patterns and your body’s natural production.

Thus, it’s best to take it in the morning.  If you are taking multiple divided doses, you might want to spread them out in the first half of the day, optimizing your own hormone patterns.

Why Take DHEA at Night?

While the conventional wisdom is to take this supplement in the morning, taking it at night may be beneficial, based on your goals.

So why take DHEA at night specifically?

You might include it in your nighttime supplement routine because it could alleviate insomnia symptoms and improve sleep quality.

Taking DHEA at night could also help you sleep, reduce stress and inflammation, and boost your energy the next morning.

Why Take DHEA At Night-Final Thoughts

DHEA can be a powerful supplement with effects on hormone levels and adrenal glands.

Having low DHEA levels naturally can lead to problems with estrogen or testosterone production, bone and heart health, fertility, and immune system health issues.

Using a DHEA supplement in the morning is best because it’ll follow your body’s natural hormone cycles.

On the other hand, you might take it at night if your biggest goals are stress and insomnia reduction.

Frequently Asked Questions (Why Take DHEA At Night)

What time of day should I take DHEA?

You can take DHEA in the morning, which will better replicate your body’s natural hormone fluctuations. You can also take it at night to support relaxation and sleep quality.

How should DHEA be taken?

You should talk to your healthcare professional before taking the supplement and follow the instructions of the brand you’re using.

You might take a dose of around 50 mg daily or start with a smaller daily dose of 25 mg.

What should I not take DHEA with?

You shouldn’t combine many medications with DHEA, at least not before talking to a healthcare professional.

These include taking it with SSRIs, testosterone, Halcion, valproic acid, or antipsychotics.

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