Living a healthy lifestyle is a critical component of fertility, including your sleep habits. Questions about why we need sleep and what happens while we sleep remained largely unanswered until the last several decades. All we could do was theorize.
Today, innovations in brain imaging and our ability to test for hormone balance have taught us much about the importance of sleep on wellbeing and how interrupted or irregular sleep patterns negatively impact fertility.
Improving Sleep Habits Increases Fertility Outcomes
Forty years of fertility research and data prove that with or without an infertility diagnosis, women are more likely to conceive and carry a healthy, full-term baby when they:
- Pay attention to their menstrual cycles and address any irregularities
- Eat a healthy diet
- Avoid smoking, drinking excess alcohol, and cannabis products
- Exercise moderately and often
- Manage their weight
- Create a varied collection of stress management tools
- Getting their male partner on board (male fertility is as important as female fertility)
It makes sense that getting a good night’s sleep is another piece of that puzzle.
Among other things, it is responsible for regulating hormone balance and boosting the immune system – two essential features when trying to get pregnant. Irregular sleep patterns range from insomnia or frequent interruptions to working night shifts (earning a reputation as the “infertility shift”). In addition, women who experience long-term irregular sleep patterns are at a higher risk for:
- Skipping ovulation or missing your menstrual cycle entirely
- Lower embryo implantation rate with IVF
- Increased miscarriage risk
Tips to Plan for a Good Night’s Sleep – Every Night
If sleep eludes you or you know you’re prone to stall sleep to catch up on work, shows, or social media – now is the time to prioritize and plan for a good night’s sleep.
1. Establish consistent sleep/wake times
2. Design a bedroom space that promotes rest
3. Avoid stimulants in the hours before bedtime
5. Don’t oversleep
A healthy adult need between 7 and 9 hours. You may need a little more when you aren’t feeling well, had a rough week, or have been more physically active than usual.