You’ve probably felt the effects of sleep deprivation at least a few times in your life. A good night’s sleep is essential to our overall health and well-being. Exactly how sleep is restorative and why we need to sleep for so long each day remains a mystery. We have a good idea of how much we’ll need and what might happen if we don’t obtain it.
When we sleep, some people believe that the body goes into a state of hibernation and we get the benefits, but this isn’t true. Maintaining, restoring and strengthening your body and mind while you sleep is critical to your overall health.
As a result, it’s reasonable to assume that sleep has an impact on virtually every element of your health, including your ability to conceive.
How Does Lack of Sleep Affect Fertility?
There is no evidence that sleep directly affects fertility, other than the fact that the healthier you are, the higher your chances of conceiving are. However, studies have revealed numerous characteristics that suggest a possible connection between a woman’s ability to conceive and how much sleep she gets. The National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health have a comprehensive article on the effects of sleep on fertility.
When it comes to influencing fertility, hormone production is the most critical component that sleep can have an impact on. Your body will generate less of some hormones, and more of others, if you don’t get enough sleep. In addition to regulating sleep-wake hormones like melatonin and cortisol, the same area of the brain is important for regulating reproductive hormones. Insufficient sleep causes the body to produce more stress hormones, which is detrimental to overall health and may disrupt the levels of reproductive hormones.
There’s also a chance that your sleep-wake cycle is influenced by hormones that cause ovulation in women. It can also affect the maturation of the sperm. Menstrual irregularity, which can make ovulation harder to predict and lengthen the process of attempting to conceive, is the most common side effect for women. Fertilizing an egg with a sperm sample that is less than ideal is more likely to lead to infertile embryos or other issues.
We already know that a lack of sleep can have a negative impact on your overall health and well-being, even if it doesn’t directly affect fertility. In addition to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, sleep deprivation raises the risk of these diseases. All of these circumstances make it more difficult to conceive.
Finally, a lack of sleep can have a negative impact on your emotional well-being and mood. Moodiness isn’t a good way to deal with a hormone imbalance, but it’s possible. If you’re constantly grumpy and exhausted, you may have issues with your relationship or your sex life. Without IVF or IUI, inability to have intercourse is an enormous impediment to conception.
Lack of Sleep Can Affect Fertility-Related Hormones
Unfortunately, according to the CDC, more than a third of Americans do not get enough sleep. This information may surprise you if you’re one of those people who is likewise concerned about their fertility.
- Reproductive hormones are released every day by the same portion of the brain that regulates sleep-wake hormones (melatonin and cortisol).
- Women’s ovulation hormones and men’s sperm maturation hormones may be linked to sleep-wake cycles in the body. LH is the hormone that regulates your menstrual cycle, and if you don’t get enough sleep for a lengthy period of time, you may not produce enough of it. Because of the menstrual irregularities that ensue, it’s possible that you’ll have a harder time getting pregnant.
There may be a link between your sleep and fertility, so if you don’t get enough sleep you might not be able to conceive as easily as possible. A study released in 2015 indicated that little is known regarding the relationship between sleep and fertility.
However, a study published in 2016 found that working night hours or rotating shifts may have an impact on fertility and miscarriage.
The Physical Toll Of Not Getting Those Zzzz’s
Consistent sleep deprivation has a variety of negative effects on the body. As a result of your slowed reaction time, you’re more likely to make incorrect decisions and even cause an accident. Chronic sleep deprivation has a number of negative effects on your life, including:
- Memory problems, both short-term and long-term.
- The ability to focus has been hindered.
- Blood pressure is too high.
- Diabetes and heart disease are both at an increased risk because of this.
- Increased weight.
- The ability to maintain a sense of equilibrium and coordination.
- The libido is down (sex drive).
How Much Sleep Should I Get?
The secret to getting a good night’s sleep is to strike a balance. You’re aiming for a balance between not enough and too much. Try to find the “just right” amount by channeling your inner Goldilocks. As a result, how much sleep is actually necessary?
While sleep deprivation is the most common cause of insomnia, excessive sleep can also be a problem. Oversleeping can be a sign of a different health concern, just as it can be with sleep deprivation and insomnia.
What is the ideal amount of sleep? According to the National Sleep Foundation, most people should strive for seven to nine hours of sleep every night on average. In other words, the age-old adage about getting eight hours of sleep per night still holds true. Women who sleep less than seven hours per night had a 15% lower chance of becoming pregnant than those who sleep seven to eight hours per night. Women who got seven to eight hours of sleep while receiving IVF therapy were 25% more likely to conceive than those who had nine or more hours of sleep.
Most healthy people can follow this recommendation, but it doesn’t take into account any medical disorders that can impair your sleep. The doctor who treats you for your sleep condition should also talk to your reproductive specialist about how this may influence your ability to have children.
What Can I Do to Get More Sleep?
We’d let everyone know if there was a secret recipe for getting the perfect amount of sleep. Even so, it’s not that easy. Sleep deprivation affects one in three people in the United States. Prior to starting a family, you should consult with your doctor if you suffer from insomnia or another sleep condition. There are, however, a few suggestions that may assist you in achieving better sleep.
- Get sleep between 10 pm and 7 am: For the most part, if you can, aim to get to bed at least an hour before your normal bedtime. Having the ability to be awake when the sun shines and to sleep when it’s dark can improve your mood. There are other options, like as using blackout curtains and sunrise/sunset light alarms, to mimic those conditions during non-peak hours.
- Lay off caffeine by a certain time: Pregnant women should already be cutting back on their coffee usage. In order to improve your sleep habits, you should refrain from caffeine use for at least four to six hours before bedtime.
- Keep sleep patterns regular: If possible, try to maintain a regular sleeping and waking schedule, even on the weekends. While it may be difficult to give up your Sunday morning nap, once you get into the habit of getting at least seven hours of sleep every night, you won’t miss it.
- Relax your mind: Before going to bed, you might have a routine of doing a few last-minute duties, reading, or watching a true crime documentary. It’s better to skim over anything that might linger in your mind as you prepare to retire for the night. Stick to something light if you’re planning on watching TV before you go to sleep. To avoid sleep disruption, make sure all electrical gadgets, including the TV, are turned off before attempting to go off to sleep. In addition, before you go off to sleep, practice some form of stress-relieving technique like deep breathing or meditation.
- Spend time outdoors: You can increase the quality of your sleep and make it easier to fall asleep if you spend an hour outside in the sunlight. If you can’t fit it all in at once, divide it up into smaller chunks: lunch outside, walks with your pets, and so on.
- Avoid supplements like melatonin: Even “natural” supplements like melatonin might disrupt your body’s normal rhythms. In some situations, it might lead to gonad atrophy, a decrease in fertility. Consult your doctor if you believe you need a supplement or prescription to help you obtain a good night’s sleep.
We at Carolinas Fertility Institute are here to assist you in any way we can along the route to a healthy pregnancy. Additionally, they can provide advice on how to enhance your overall health and well-being so that you have a better chance of getting pregnant in the future. You’ll have the highest chance of success with fertility treatments if you improve your health and wellness, which is why it’s important to get enough sleep.
Healthy Habits For Life
A good night’s sleep can do wonders for your overall well-being and well-being. It’s well-established that sleep affects your ability to conceive. It is important to make sure you and your spouse are doing everything possible to encourage a healthy lifestyle, including abstaining from excessive drinking, stopping smoking, eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly, in order to increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
What Else Connects Sleep and Fertility?
More than just your hormone balance might be harmed by a lack of sleep over a long period of time. Studies have shown that it can have an impact on your fertility in other ways, such as:
Making you moody and irritable. Your connection with your spouse or sexual partner may become strained as a result of this, which could reduce your chances of getting pregnant.
Increasing your risk of diseases and conditions that can affect your fertility. Diabetes, heart and blood vessel disease, and obesity are all on the list.
You’ve probably heard of at least a few methods for improving your sleep quality. So, give them a shot! For those who are still having trouble sleeping and conceiving, it may be necessary to see a doctor to rule out the possibility of an underlying medical ailment at play.
When it comes to our biological clocks, it’s crucial to obtain enough sleep and sunlight.
Here are a few pointers.
- Honor your personal sleep needs: Although 8 hours of sleep each night is generally considered optimum, individual needs and those of the season can both affect how much sleep one needs.
- Get outdoors: Get outside at least an hour a day, even if you have to break it up into three 10-minute outings with your dog in the morning, a short lunch on the patio, and a late-afternoon walk.
- Don’t work odd hours if you can help it: Avoid working night or weekend shifts if at all possible.
- Keep your sleep and wake time consistent: Even on the weekends, make an effort to maintain a consistent bedtime and wake-up routine.
- Still your mind: In the hours leading up to bedtime, stay away from anything that can distract your thoughts from drifting off into a deep slumber, including paying bills, reading upsetting novels or viewing disturbing movies. As an alternative, develop a regular routine of spiritual thought and partner massage as a way to wind down at the end of each day.
- Adjust your lighting: Using dimmer switches and low-wattage lighting at night can aid those who have difficulty sleeping.
- Keep a space cushion between stimulants and sleep: When you’re attempting to get pregnant, limit your consumption of caffeine and alcohol to no more than five hours before night.