We’ve all been warned that a lack of sleep may increase the risk of dementia, heart disease, diabetes, and even stress. The effects of sleep deprivation can be severe, but is there a link between sleep and a woman’s reproductive health? Research says yes!

Read on to understand the role sleep has on fertility and the best sleeping habits to adopt when trying to get pregnant.

via Dr. Terlep

Can sleep affect fertility?

Sleep is extremely important for fertility due to hormone regulation. The hormone melatonin helps control sleep patterns and protects eggs from free-radicals. According to Ava Women: “Without adequate sleep, eggs can become damaged and rejected by the body, causing diminished fertility and possibly even miscarriage”. Leptin is a crucial hormone for reproductive health since it plays a role in menstruation and ovulation cycles. Getting enough sleep may also help lower stress levels.

 

How much sleep should I get when trying for a baby?

Dr. Daniel Park from Inje University in South Korea, revealed that women who slept 7-8 hours a night, “were 53% more likely to become pregnant. The rates fell to 43% for those who got nine hours or more and 46% for those who had less than six”.

This disapproves the common belief that the more sleep the better the results. Women trying to get pregnant must not under-sleep or over-sleep, to help improve their chances.

A study conducted by Washington University in St Louis asked 176 women trying-to-conceive wear a smartwatch in order to monitor their activity levels. The results were optimal and showed that: “There was a four-fold rise in conception in a year for those who went to bed in the same hour timeframe each night. Women turning in within the same 90-minute period were more than twice as likely to get pregnant”.

What are the best sleeping habits?

If you have trouble falling asleep and counting sheep doesn’t quite do the trick, here are a few easy tips to catch some Z’s:

 

  • Try going to sleep the same time every night and waking up the same time every morning. This will help regulate your sleeping patterns and give your body an internal night schedule.

 

  • David Fisher advises women to drink chamomile tea or warm milk before bed to induce drowsiness. He also warns women against trying “sleep aids that are deemed ‘natural’ but not regulated by the FDA”.

 

 

  • Do not sleep with your phone on your pillow! Studies show that artificial light during the nighttime suppresses melatonin.Women’s Health Magazine reports, that it is “also produced in the reproductive tract and blocks eggs from damaging free radicals, particularly during ovulation”.