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blog details: There is a long list of "lifestyle" factors that we know can affect fertility in women and men. From obesity to smoking to stress, sleep problems are now on the list. Sleep problems can increase the risk of infertility in both men and women.
Lack of sleep, which affects more than one-third of people, can impact fertility hormones. The part of the brain responsible for regulating "sleep-wake hormones" in both sexes is also in charge of triggering the daily release of hormones that affect ovulation induction in women and sperm maturation in men.
Long-term sleep deprivation in women may have a direct effect on various reproductive hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone, prolactin, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone. The release of LH is critical because this hormone is responsible for a regular menstrual cycle and ovulation. An irregular cycle can make it difficult or impossible for a woman to conceive.
The hormone testosterone is essential for healthy sperm production in men. The hormone is released daily, typically during sleep. According to research, testosterone levels are affected by several factors, including sleep, and total sleep time has been positively linked to testosterone levels.
Most sleep research shows a link between insufficient or poor-quality sleep, but too much sleep can also have an effect. Men who sleep too little or too much may experience fertility problems.
Short sleep (less than 6 hours) and long sleep (more than 9 hours) were both associated with a "reduced probability" of pregnancy.
Men who slept too little or too much had a 42% lower chance of conception in any given month, using 8 hours as a reference point.
Men who reported having trouble sleeping half the time had the most difficulty getting their partner pregnant.
Another study showed that sleeping too little (less than 6 hours) or too much (more than 9 hours), as well as later, can affect male fertility by reducing sperm count and sperm survival, which is partly responsible for the production of anti-sperm antibodies.
According to a ten-year study, women reporting sleep problems other than sleep apnea were 3.7 times more likely to be at risk for infertility than women with normal sleep patterns. Women aged 26 to 30 were most at risk. Sleep apnea has previously been linked to infertility issues in women and other health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, all of which affect fertility.
Meanwhile, here's what sleep experts recommend for a good night’s sleep:
• Every day, go outside and exercise.
• Maintain consistency in your sleeping and waking hours.
• Make sure your bedroom is dark.
• Relax before going to bed by not watching an upsetting program or paying bills.
• Limit or avoid stimulants and alcohol at least 5 hours before bedtime.
A Quick Tip
Get some quality sleep now because once the baby arrives, all bets are off... at least for a while.
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