Are Your Sleep Patterns Impacting Your Fertility?
You’ve heard it before: getting enough quality sleep is a key aspect of overall health. We all know we should probably try to get in a few extra Z’s every night, but less than a quarter of Americans are getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night. While most people know how a lack of sleep can impact their mood, stress levels, and hunger cues, few know that it can also negatively impact their fertility.
Here, the fertility specialists at IVF FLORIDA’s Miami area fertility clinic discuss how sleep patterns can affect your chances of TTC success – and how to develop healthier sleeping patterns.
The Quantity of Sleep
The amount of sleep a woman gets each night doesn’t just impact her productivity levels, it also impacts her hormones. Not getting enough quality sleep can impact the way your body releases the hormones that regulate how hungry or full you feel, which can lead to weight gain. If you are trying to achieve a healthy weight in order to increase your chances of achieving a pregnancy, getting enough sleep is crucial. Getting in your recommended 7-8 hours each night can also improve hormone levels directly related to achieving and carrying a pregnancy, such as progesterone, estrogen, Leptin, and Follicle-Stimulating Hormones (FSH).
Getting enough sleep is also important for men. Healthy sperm production is regulated by the hormone testosterone, which is released daily – often overnight – with several studies linking testosterone levels to how much sleep a man gets each night.
The Quality of Sleep
It’s not enough just to get your 7-8 hours each night – they need to be hours of quality sleep. One factor that impacts sleep quality and fertility is the blue light emitted by screens such as phones and tablets. The blue light from screens has been shown to suppress melatonin production. Melatonin doesn’t just help your fall and stay asleep – it also has been shown to help protect your eggs when they are close to ovulation.
When you sleep can also impact fertility in women. The night shift has been aptly nicknamed “the infertility shift” for women due to the lower fertility rates of women who work overnight shifts. Studies have shown that working the night shift can disrupt your circadian rhythm, causing hormonal imbalances, lower estrogen levels, and irregular menstrual cycles. These changes can all make it more difficult to both achieve a pregnancy, and carry a pregnancy to term.
Getting Better Sleep
So how can you get the amount of quality sleep you need to support you on your fertility journey? Below are five helpful tips to help you get the sleep you need.
- Set a designated bed time. Try going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day – yes, even on weekends!
- Turn off electronics an hour before bed and keep them out of the bedroom to minimize blue light exposure that can suppress melatonin.
- Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet. This can help you fall asleep faster – and stay asleep when you do.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol later in the day. Stimulants like coffee late in the afternoon or the evening can make it more difficult to wind down for bedtime. Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but can negatively impact sleep quality.
- Try a nighttime meditation routine. It can help you quiet your mind and body to make getting to sleep just a bit easier.
Getting enough sleep can be difficult, but setting healthy sleep habits can help you get the hours you need to increase your chances of achieving and carrying a pregnancy to term. To learn more about the impact of sleep on fertility, or to schedule a consultation with one of our fertility specialists, contact the team at IVF FLORIDA’s Miami-area fertility clinics today at 954-247-6200.