When couples begin trying for a baby, it’s natural to start gathering information about every aspect of your fertility. When in the cycle should we be trying? What should we be eating to maximize fertility? Given that sleep is a foundation for human wellbeing, there should be no surprise that a healthy sleeping pattern can help you conceive. Unfortunately, a significant minority of Americans suffer from a lack of sleep, so let’s explore the connection between sleep and fertility and see what you can do to take back control.
Sleep And Hormones
Sleep can have a profound impact on the production of hormones in our body, hormones which are crucial to our fertility. In both women and men, the hormones cortisol and melatonin which regulate our sleep are produced in the same place as the daily reproductive hormones that regulate our fertility. Any impact on the production of one set of these hormones, such as late nights or caffeine consumption, can have a disruptive effect on the production of the reproductive hormones that control our fertility.
Studies have only thus far established a limited connection between sleep and fertility hormones, but there is evidence that working night shifts or rotating shifts can decrease fertility as well as increase the incidence of miscarriage in women. Sleeping habits are vital to your overall health and a lack of sleep must be taken seriously for those both trying to conceive and already pregnant.
Sleep, and a lack of it, can have an effect on your hormones, thus creating a direct impact on your fertility at any given moment. However, because sleep is so fundamental to your wellbeing in all manner of ways, it’s also possible for a lack of sleep to have an indirect effect on your chances of conceiving.
If a lack of sleep becomes habitual in your routine then you’re at risk of multiple other health problems that can impact your fertility. Studies have shown an increased rate of heart disease and obesity amongst populations that suffer from a chronic lack of sleep. Conditions such as these that impact your health will have a knock-on effect on your fertility – staying healthy is the best way to maximize your chances of conceiving.
What’s more, a lack of sleep can have a big impact on your social and your sex life. If you’re irritable from sleep deprivation or prone to mood swings, your relationship can suffer. You’re less likely to find spontaneous moments with your partner where pregnancy can be achieved. Curiously, in many relationships where couples are trying to conceive, their sex life can disrupt their sleeping patterns leading to a counterintuitive dip in fertility. Rather than waiting until you’re both falling into bed exhausted to initiate sex, try making time for intercourse with your partner during the day or long before bed time.
Getting enough sleep is vital to our physical and mental well being. As we’ve seen, a lack of sleep can have severe ramifications for our fertility. If you’re thinking of trying for a baby, then getting everything from sleep to nutrition nailed can increase your chances. Here are our tips for the perfect night’s sleep.
- Find a routine. Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day trains our mind to sleep at the right time. Keeping a strict routine will help you get to sleep and improve your rest.
- Spend time outdoors. Just an hour of sunlight each day can help us get to sleep at night. Spending time with nature can boost your wellbeing and help you sleep better at night.
- Limit screen time. The blue light emitted by devices actually inhibits melatonin production in our brains. Put away your phone an hour before bedtime.
- Cut back on caffeine. A no brainer – caffeine keeps us awake and even a small amount in our system can disrupt our sleeping pattern.
- Talk to your partner. It takes two to tango. If you’re sharing a bed with your partner, collaborate on a sleeping pattern that works for you both.
- Exercise. Recent research shows that exercising can help you get better sleep. The effects of aerobic exercise on sleep have been said to be similar to those of sleeping pills.
Sleep has an impact on everything from our mood to our weight, so it’s no surprise that a good night’s sleep can boost your chances of conceiving. Finding the sweet spot for sleep can set you on a positive path in life, and help you grow your family. And once the baby’s born, you’ll be grateful for all that sleep!
Elizabeth Hines is a writer and editor at Academized. As a digital marketer, she helps companies improve their marketing strategies and concepts.