How Does Sleep Affect Fertility in Men and Women?

How Does Sleep Affect Fertility in Men and Women?

Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule is crucial in keeping good physical and emotional health. More importantly, sleep affects fertility in both women and men. Having a proper sleep schedule will refresh your body, your brain and will regulate important hormones in your body including the fertility hormones each night.

The part of the brain that controls the sleep-wake hormones such as cortisol and melatonin is also responsible to trigger the reproductive hormones in both men and women. Sleep affects fertility reciprocally which means that sleep disturbances might happen due to problems in reproductive processes and vice versa.

Effects on Men

Recent studies in men’s reproductive health suggest that men may have reduced semen quality and sperm count if they suffer from issues with proper sleep. Sleep disturbances might meddle with the natural testosterone rhythms in men. Common factors that contribute to lack of sleep and fertility problems in men include

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Age

Effects on Women

The hormone called Leptin links sleep and fertility in women. Leptin is produced when women get enough sleep on a regular basis. Since Leptin is a hormone that directly affects ovulation, if women do not get sufficient sleep, the imbalances in this hormone will disrupt the menstrual cycle in women. Other hormones affected by sleep are:

  • Progesterone
  • Estrogen
  • LH (luteinizing hormone)
  • FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone)

What is Circadian Rhythm and Why is It Important?

Our bodies follow an internal clock called the circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm will function properly if the body is exposed to a regular pattern of light and dark. Most often, people who work on night shifts or those who alternate between different kinds of shifts run into problems with their circadian rhythm. It is found that women who work night shifts have increased chances of having irregular menstrual cycles which might lead to infertility.

How Can You Maintain a Proper Sleep Schedule?

  • Wake up and sleep at the same time regularly
  • Avoid sleeping in on weekends.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid stress.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking.
  • Maintain a calming bedtime routine.

Follow a healthy sleep schedule in order to improve your chances of having a baby.