It goes without saying that getting enough sleep is absolutely essential whether you’re trying for a baby or not and the amount of rest you get will directly affect your quality of life. When you get a good night’s sleep, both your body and mind will be rejuvenated and you’re likely to feel much better throughout the next day.
However, many of us are not getting enough sleep. We tend to put sleep last on our priority list with differing demands such as working late, binge-watching that one last episode, waking up early to get to the gym, or a sleepless child all affecting our chances of getting a solid eight hours. If you’re trying for a baby it is important to know how sleep can affect your chances of getting pregnant, and why it’s a good idea to make sleep a top priority.
GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP WHEN TRYING FOR A BABY
Sleep is one of the lifestyle factors that can directly impact your chances of conception, it goes without saying that you should try to ensure you’re getting enough sleep every night. When paired with a healthy diet and lifestyle as well as the right nutritional supplements, getting enough sleep really may be able to make a difference to fertility.
We understand that trying to conceive can cause some people to feel anxious, which may affect the quality and amount of sleep they have. This can become a vicious cycle where you worry about trying to conceive, which can cause sleepless nights, and then worrying about the effects of your lack of sleep. In both men and women regular sleep disruptions can cause trouble conceiving by reducing the secretion of reproductive hormones.
HOW DOES SLEEP AFFECT FERTILITY?
Emotional Health and Mood
The most obvious impact of sleep on fertility is connected to your emotional health (We all know someone who is grumpy in the morning!) Lack of sleep can cause you to feel irritable and emotional which can affect your relationship with your partner and reduce your sex drive.
Research has demonstrated that continued poor sleep not only affects your emotional health and mood, it can also impact your physical well-being, leaving you more susceptible to obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure. All which can be easily avoided with the right amount of good quality sleep.
Sleep affects your hormone production which is undeniably important when trying for a baby. Both men and women should be aware that the same part of their brain that regulates sleep-wake hormones, such as melatonin and cortisol, also regulates your reproductive hormones too. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body will not produce the correct amounts of hormones.
It is also thought that your sleep-wake pattern can affect the reproductive hormones that trigger ovulation in women and the sperm-maturation process in men. If this is the case, not getting enough sleep can affect the regularity of menstrual cycles in women which can make it difficult to use an ovulation calculator and take advantage of your most fertile days. In men, it can prevent their sperm from being as strong and able to fertilize the eggs.
HOW MUCH SLEEP SHOULD YOU GET?
Sleep requirements will differ from person to person, but in general, it is recommended that healthy adults get between seven to nine hours a night. Good news anyone who looks forward to their head hitting the pillow every night!
HOW CAN YOU GET MORE SLEEP?
Whilst getting the right amount of sleep may seem like an impossible task for some people, thankfully there are lots of different ways that you can help yourself to get more sleep. If sleep deprivation is a worry of yours, it is worthwhile looking into tips to help with sleep.