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For couples trying hard to start a family, it can be surprising how small lifestyle changes can significantly impact their fertility.
Recent scientific studies have indicated that poor sleep habits may be linked to lower fertility rates in both men and women. While these studies are not conclusive, they make sense. Sleep is vital for proper hormone regulation, which directly affects fertility.
How Does Poor Sleep Affect Women?
For women, irregular and insufficient sleep cycles can disrupt the production and release of several fertility-related hormones. Hormones like estrogen, luteinizing hormone (LH), and others can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle and ability to conceive.
While regular sleep cannot guarantee conception, it is an easy step to increase the odds of success.
Our blog covers some options to increase fertility through other lifestyle changes.
How Does Poor Sleep Affect Men?
Men who sleep less than six hours a night or more than nine tend to have lower sperm counts. While the exact reason for this is still unclear, it may be linked to hormone imbalances. The areas of the brain that control sleep hormones also control hormones that influence sperm production and maturation.
Testosterone, in particular, is necessary for the production of healthy sperm and is primarily released during sleep cycles. For men who do not sleep enough or whose sleep is inconsistent, their fertility may be reduced.
What Should You Do? Sleep!
Regular full sleep cycles can help both men and women maintain their fertility. If you and your partner have trouble conceiving, checking your respective sleep schedules is a simple first step.
Ideal sleep cycles should be regular; this means going to bed around the same time each night and sleeping for a full seven to eight hours.
If you want to read more about how your diet can affect your fertility, read our post on the subject.
For people who have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, there are several simple steps you can try:
- Avoid electronics for at least an hour before bed; the light can stimulate wakeful hormones.
- Relax before going to bed. If you are feeling stressed, do something relaxing before trying to sleep.
- Warm milk can act as a mild sedative and help you relax. Warm it, but do not let it boil.
- Avoid stimulants like caffeine for at least five hours before you plan to sleep.
Want to Learn More About How Sleep Impacts Fertility?
If you want to learn more about how sleep impacts your fertility, please call our office at (310) 929-6707 to schedule a consultation. We will be happy to answer any questions you have.