Sleep and fertility for men & women
How can poor quality sleep effect your chances of conceiving?
Struggling with sleepless nights? This can impact your chances of falling pregnant naturally or during assisted conception (IVF) Lack of sleep can affect hormones related to fertility. The part of the brain that regulates “sleep-wake hormones” in both sexes is also responsible for triggering the daily release of hormones that affect ovulation in women and sperm maturation in men.
For women, losing sleep over the long term may have a direct effect on various reproductive-related hormones including oestrogen, progesterone, prolactin, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone. For example, the release of LH is critical as this hormone is responsible for a regular menstrual cycle and ovulation. An irregular cycle may complicate or delay a woman’s ability to conceive.
With men, the hormone testosterone is critical to healthy sperm production. The hormone is released daily, usually during sleep. Optimal levels of testosterone are affected by several factors including sleep and total sleep time has been positively linked to testosterone levels.
Sleeplessness has a negative domino effect for on physiological processes such as weight gain causing increased BMI which lower chances of conceiving for men and women. Low libido can be another negative effect.
Peter Schlegel, MD, chair of Urology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City strongly suggests men should aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep helps to optimise their fertility and their chances of contributing to a pregnancy. He also recommends doctors talking to couples about infertility should ask how much sleep the male partner is getting.
Another study also showed that sleeping too little (less than 6 hours) or too much (more than 9 hours), as well as going to bed later, can affect male fertility through a reduced sperm count and reduced sperm survival and motility, in part due to the production of an antisperm antibody.
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For more support head over to my free resource page to read The Importance of Good Sleep guide. This is packed with tips to get you those important 7 to 9 hours you and your partner needs to be baby ready.