Can lack of proper sleep affect your fertility? Let’s find out

Updated on: 3 June 2022, 13:20 pm IST
If you are a woman who is trying to conceive, your erratic sleep schedules might hamper your chances and ability to get pregnant.
Dr Saroja Koppala
Get regular and ample sleep! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Your sleep pattern can tell a lot about your physical and mental health, and it can seriously alter the ways your body functions. Between managing office work and house chores simultaneously, getting a good night’s sleep of at least 7 hours is the last thing that comes to mind of most women. But a messed up sleep schedule or even lack of can take a toll on your fertility as well.

If you are a woman who is trying to conceive but your attempts are not successful yet, there could be some unexpected reasons behind it and one of the major culprits is your sleep schedule.

Here is how your insomnia may be impacting your ability to get pregnant:

Sleep pattern affects your fertility hormones

The part of the brain that regulates the sleep-wake pattern hormones, namely melatonin and cortisol, also controls the release of hormones like LH (luteinising hormone), FSH (follicle stimulating Hormones), progesterone and estrogen. All of these are reproductive hormones and are crucial for pregnancy. So, if you are not getting a proper sleep of 7-8 hours a day, chances are high that the level of these hormones in your body would be less than a woman getting enough sleep. Thus, the resulting menstrual irregularity may indicate difficulties in conceiving.

Bad sleeping habits are responsible for the high rate of infertility in women. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Also, read: How to sleep quickly? These 10 hacks will help you sleep better tonight

How electronic devices affect your sleep and ability to get pregnant:

It is recommended to not use our mobile phones, laptops etc. before going to bed as the blue light emitted by them alters and affects our sleep-wake pattern. But recent studies have shown that it not only messes with your sleep cycle, but also negatively impacts a woman’s ability to get pregnant. The rays from the devices suppress melatonin, a critical hormone that both aids sleep and preserves your eggs when they are close to ovulation. As a result, without the proper production of melatonin, the quality of your egg may decline, making pregnancy more difficult.

The ‘infertility shift’

If you are a woman, who works night shifts and wants to conceive a baby, changing your work schedule is the best option you have. Because of the greater incidence of infertility among women who work nights, the night shift has earned the moniker “infertility shift.” According to recent research, working late at night can alter your circadian rhythm, resulting in hormonal abnormalities, reduced estrogen levels, and irregular menstrual cycles. All of these changes might make becoming pregnant and carrying a baby to term more challenging.

Infertility is a rising concern. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Other reasons that affect fertility

Long-term sleep deprivation can damage more than just your hormonal balances. Research shows that this irregularity can also affect fertility index in many indirect ways.

Having a happy sexual life with your spouse and sexual partner is a very important factor in fertility. If you are sleep deprived, it can make you stressed, angry and grumpy which ultimately results in the damage of your connection with your partner over time, resulting in less prospects for conception.

Lack of proper sleep can also increase your chances of developing illnesses and ailments that might impair your fertility. Diabetes, cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) illness, and obesity are examples.

Changing your sleep pattern

Here’s good news! As strenuous it may sound, but it is not that difficult to fix your sleep patterns. Women should do the following to enhance their sleep quality and boost their chances of becoming pregnant:

  1. Get a proper sleep of 7-8 hours every night
  2. At least an hour before night, put away computers, phones, tablets, and other devices.
  3. Get outside: Try to spend an hour or more each day in the sun, even if it means taking a 10-minute stroll in the morning, lunch in the garden, or a late-afternoon Frisbee game with your loved ones.

In order to conceive, couples who are experiencing infertility, have to make these lifestyle changes so that they can fulfill their long awaited dream.

Dr Saroja Koppala

Dr Saroja Koppala, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility, Hyderabad

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