You’ve probably heard it 1000 times; getting in some good quality Zzzz’s is excellent for your overall health and well-being. However, you might be more surprised to hear that sleep also plays a major part in boosting your fertility! Sleep affects everything from hormones to your sex drive. Both are super important factors when trying to make a baby!
This world sleep day, we thought it would be good to take a moment to find out how sleep affects your fertility and why you should try and hit the hay early when trying to conceive.
Are sleep and fertility connected?
The short answer is yes! Sleep can impact your fertility in more ways than one. Lets us break them down for you:
Lack of sleep affects those fertility-related hormones
Having the right hormone balance is pretty essential for fertility. This makes sense since a range of very specific hormones triggers our whole menstrual cycle. So when these are out of whack, our fertility is more likely to suffer.
This is the science behind it:
Sleep helps to secrete and metabolise the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, which are responsible for reproduction.
When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies start producing more cortisol – otherwise known as the stress hormone. This can then interrupt the ovulation and fertilisation process.
Not only that, the increased cortisol can cause a decrease in progesterone, which is vital for preparing the uterus for the implantation of the egg and maintaining pregnancy.
Sleep deprivation can lower your libido
Let’s face it when you are not in the mood. You are probably not having sex as often as you should when trying to conceive. You’ve probably already guessed it, but lack of sleep is a major libido killer. How can you fix it? Easy – get more sleep!
Why? Because a lack of sleep can reduce your testosterone levels, which is believed to control your sex drive.
Lack of sleep can impact your overall health
This one is probably obvious. But it’s worth pointing out that not catching enough Zzzs can seriously damage your emotional and physical health. Those not catching up on sleep are at increased risk of being affected by a range of conditions that may also affect their fertility.
So how much sleep do I need?
Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that getting some extra hours of sleep can help your fertility, but how much sleep do you need? Well, there’s no magic number or exact science, but most adults function best when they get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night.
How can I improve my sleep and fertility?
If you are used to burning the candle at both ends and staying up late every night, changing your routine might be easier said than done. Here are a few tips to help improve your sleep quality:
- Limit caffeine – If you are struggling to doze off at night, consider reducing your caffeine intake or cutting it out altogether. If possible, get your caffeine kick early in the day to ensure it’s out of your system to come bedtime.
- Exercise – A regular exercise routine can not only improve your sleep quality, but it can benefit your overall health. Pick something you enjoy and plan it into your schedule. Even just 20 minutes a day can have a huge difference.
- Have some downtime before bed – Don’t watch shows with troubling storylines or work at your computer just before bed. Otherwise, these will play on your mind and keep you awake. Instead, opt for a quiet wind-down activity such as meditation or reading a book.
In reality, many factors can affect your fertility and chances of conceiving. Choose to prioritise your sleep and boost your fertility. If you are not used to getting the recommended amount of sleep due to your lifestyle, consider making small changes like limiting caffeine and making time to exercise. You’ll be surprised by the difference it can make!
How many hours of sleep do you manage on average? Let us know in the comments!