by Dr. Lora Shahine
Sleep is an essential part of our daily routine, and it has a significant impact on our overall health and well-being. Research has shown that sleep also plays a crucial role in fertility. In this article, we will discuss the impact of sleep on fertility and provide tips for better sleep.
The Impact of Sleep on Fertility
Studies have shown that sleep can have a significant impact on fertility. Women who have poor sleep quality or suffer from sleep disorders may have a harder time getting pregnant. Research has found that women who sleep less than six hours per night have a 20% reduction in their fertility compared to those who sleep for seven to eight hours per night. In addition, women with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or insomnia may have an even more significant reduction in fertility.
One of the reasons for this is that sleep plays a critical role in regulating hormones. Hormones such as luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and estrogen are all essential for the female reproductive system. When we don’t get enough sleep, our hormone levels can become imbalanced, which can affect ovulation and fertility.
Another reason for the impact of sleep on fertility is that lack of sleep can cause stress. Stress can lead to the release of the hormone cortisol, which can interfere with the release of LH and FSH. This can disrupt the menstrual cycle and reduce the chances of getting pregnant.
Tips for Better Sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial for overall health and fertility. Here are some tips for better sleep:
- Stick to a sleep schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This can help regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
- Create a relaxing sleep environment: Make sure your bedroom is quiet, cool, and dark. Use comfortable bedding and pillows to make your bed a cozy haven.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol: Both caffeine and alcohol can interfere with sleep. Avoid consuming these substances before bedtime.
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can improve sleep quality. Just be sure to avoid intense exercise close to bedtime, as this can make it harder to fall asleep.
- Practice relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation can help you relax and fall asleep more easily.
- Limit screen time: The blue light emitted by electronic devices can interfere with sleep. Try to limit your screen time before bedtime or use blue light filters on your devices.
- Manage stress: Stress can interfere with sleep and fertility. Try to manage stress through techniques such as journaling, talking to a friend, or seeking professional help.
Sleep is crucial for overall health, and it also plays a significant role in fertility. Women who have poor sleep quality or suffer from sleep disorders may have a harder time getting pregnant. By following these tips for better sleep, you can improve your sleep quality and increase your chances of getting pregnant. If you are struggling with sleep or fertility, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you develop a plan to improve your sleep and overall health.
Sleep and Fertility (Dr. Lora Shahine)
Dr. Lora Shahine, reproductive endocrinologist at Pacific NW Fertility and clinical faculty at the University of Washington in Seattle, completed her fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at Stanford University and residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California in San Francisco. She is dedicated to educating and advocating for increased awareness of infertility, miscarriage, and the impact on environmental toxins on health through an active social media presence, teaching, clinical research, her books including best-selling, Not Broken: An Approachable Guide to Miscarriage and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, and her podcast, Baby or Bust. Find her at www.drlorashahine.com and on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter.