The Connection Between Sleep and Fertility

We all know there are many lifestyle choices that can affect your fertility. It is important for anyone trying to get pregnant to make certain choices to take care of themselves and increase their chances of success. Despite this, many don’t consider sleep as a factor that can have a powerful impact on your chances of getting pregnant. Studies have shown that sleep can affect reproductive health in not only women, but also men. 

Sleep & Fertility in Women

The National Sleep Foundation has discovered that in women undergoing IVF, women who slept 7-8 hours were 7% more likely to achieve a pregnancy than those who slept 4-6 hours – and those who slept more than 8 hours were 10% more likely to become pregnant. There are many effects of sleep deprivation that can lead to this result.

As described in this article, sleep, stress, and fertility can create a vicious cycle in women. Infertility can be stressful and stress gets in the way of sleep. Consequently, not getting enough sleep will make the body produce more stress hormones. Then finally, as we know, both a lack of sleep and increased stress get in the way of fertility. 

Disturbances in your sleep schedule in general can result in changes in your hormone levels that will be harmful to your ability to conceive. Sleep-wake hormones are controlled by the same part of the brain that is responsible for regulating the same hormones that regulate reproductive hormones. Disturbing your circadian rhythm can result in changes to your menstrual cycle that can cause tracking your ovulation to become more challenging. 

Even if sleep does not directly affect your fertility, there are many indirect ways that sleep can become a factor. Sleep is a major factor in your overall health and wellness. Not getting enough can lead to conditions that all make getting pregnant more difficult. Sleep deprivation increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. 

Fertility Health in Men

People rarely think of men when thinking about what may be causing a couple to struggle to conceive. However, in more than one-third of couples struggling, the male in the relationship is the one who is having fertility issues. Their contribution is much less complicated; they don’t have a monthly cycle to worry about. A study at Boston University was conducted to find the link between sleep and fertility. They found that men with inconsistent sleep will have a lower chance of conception. Sperm is not as likely to fertilize eggs if they are not as healthy, and even if they do, it can lead to complications. 

Sleep is an essential part of your overall health. It keeps the rest of your body regulated and makes it easier overall for you to get pregnant. If you are trying to conceive, the quality of your sleep is an essential factor for both you and your partner to consider.