How Lack of Sleep is Hurting Your Fertility
When you’re trying to get pregnant, bleary-eyed mothers and fathers will give you a deer in the headlights look as they encourage you to, “Savor every moment of sleep that you can because it could be your last…” What they don’t realize is that those precious moments of sleep they’re recommending are more important than we ever realized when it comes to your ability to become a parent in the first place.
Recent research is demonstrating a rather clear connection between sleep deprivation and infertility. It looks like one of the best things you can do for your mental, emotional and physical well-being – including your fertility prospects – is to get a good night’s sleep.
Getting a Good Night’s Sleep Can Increase Your Chances of Getting Pregnant
Here’s the reality: without the advent of electricity and round-the-clock light, we humans were fairly solar powered creatures. We got up with the sun and went to bed within a short time after it set. Even candle and lamp light was dim enough (and expensive enough!) that we used it rather sparingly. Our body’s hormone levels have responded to this established pattern of light and dark in a very complex way – relying on sleeping and waking cycles to establish hormonal balance.
The studies that were reviewed and commented on by the scientific journal, Fertility and Sterility, have elicited shocking information about light pollution, sleep deprivation and other sleep-related factors that seem to affect fertility. Here are some of the things we are coming to realize:
Light pollution can affect egg viability. When the sun goes dowm, or the lights go off, and you head to dreamland, your body produces melatonin – a hormone that regulates sleeping and waking cycles. Here’s the caveat though, melatonin is also responsible for protecting eggs when they are close to ovulation, guarding against free-radicals and other degenerative entities. If you are someone who sleeps with lights on, who checks their cell phone every time it buzzes, or has the TV on non-stop, your body’s melatonin cycles get all screwed up. This, in turn, can prevent your eggs from getting the protection they need, resulting in damaged eggs that are then rejected by the body or can wind up being the cause of a miscarriage.
Please Note: Taking OTC melatonin-supplements are not the answer. Speak with your doctor before adding any supplement to your diet. Plus, some research indicates that melatonin supplements may be harmful to fetal development.
Shift-workers have more problems with infertility. Given the above information, it’s not surprising that shift workers have higher numbers of reproductive problems, including issues with infertility. Women who work night shifts suffer more frequently with hormonal imbalances, lower estrogen levels, difficulty conceiving and higher miscarriage rates than their counterparts who work hours that are more normal. To combat this, some employers are altering their nighttime lighting accordingly. However, if you have struggled to conceive and you work night or swing shifts, it is in your best interest to discuss this research with your employer and make adjustments to your schedule if at all possible.
Sleep deprivation affect FSH levels. If you are embarking down the Assisted Reproductive Technology road, you know all about FSH levels. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) controls the menstrual cycle and (ideally) is at its highest levels right before a woman ovulates. Studies that track women’s sleeping habits have drawn a correlation between the average hours a woman sleeps each night and her FSH levels. Women who average a healthy amount of sleep each night (about 7 – 9 hours) had FSH levels as much as 20% higher than women who averaged six or fewer hours per night. This relationship existed regardless of the women’s ages or BMI.
Don’t let something as simple as an affinity for late night TV or a potentially changeable work schedule prevent you from having the pregnancy you want. Make the necessary changes to establish a healthy sleep pattern and get your circadian – and hormonal – rhythm back on track.
Image Source: freedigitalphotos.net
- Egg Donor
- Egg Freezing
- Fertility Tips
- Health Tips
- Infertility Basics
- Kansas City
- Male Fertility
- Office News/In the Media
- Payment and Insurance
- Physicians and Staff
- Psychological and Emotional Issues
- Sperm Donation
- Success Stories
Receive Blog Updates
|||In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)|
|||Give Us a Call At (913) 894-2323|
Meet Our Team
RRC has over 200 years of combined experience. As a leading reproductive health, infertility, and in-vitro fertilization (or IVF) center based in Kansas City, we're proud to have the highest level of expertise available to our patients.