If you’re struggling to get pregnant, sleep may be one of the last things you’ve thought could be a contributing factor. Hormone levels, ovarian reserve, anatomical issues…all are commonly checked and discussed along with lifestyle habits such as nutrition, exercise and stress management. Recent studies show that your sleep habits should be added to that list to help aid fertility and sleep.
Getting your zzz’s can help you achieve your dream of parenthood. At CT Fertility in Trumbull, CT, Dr. Melvin Thornton oftern discusses the importance of sleep for fertility with patients, and how to make it a priority.
The Leptin Link
You’ve probably heard that sleep is good for your overall health; it can benefit your mental and physical health, quality of life, emotional well-being and safety. When you turn out the lights your brain gets to work repairing cells, stimulating the immune system and regulating hormones. One hormone in particular, leptin, is key to fertility.
Leptin affects ovulation and adequate sleep is critical for proper leptin production. When poor sleep habits are the norm, leptin production can be affected, which can, in turn, affect your menstrual cycle. Other fertility hormones impacted by lack of quality sleep include luteinizing hormone (LH), estrogen, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and progesterone.
Better Sleep = Better Testosterone Production
Women aren’t the only ones who should be striving for a great night’s sleep. One of the male hormones responsible for reproduction, testosterone, is released primarily during sleep. So, shaping up your sleep routine may have an effect on testosterone production and increase your chances of conception.
Tips for Getting Some Shuteye
It should be as easy as slipping under the covers and turning out the light, right? Unfortunately, for many people, getting to sleep is a challenge. We recommend implementing some of the following strategies for great sleep:
• Work out. Regular exercise is a great sleep promoter.
• Consistency is key. People who go to bed and wake up at the same time each day tend to get better sleep.
• Nix naps. It can be tempting to take a quick afternoon nap, but getting too much sleep during the day can impact your sleep cycle.
• Skip the stimulants. Cut out caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol for a more restful night.
• Develop a relaxing bedtime routine. No screen time, work, bill paying or challenging conversations right before bed. You want to avoid anything that will keep your mind active. Try a warm bath or soothing cup of decaffeinated herbal tea instead for peaceful slumber.
• Check your thermostat. Research shows that setting your thermostat between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for good sleep. When you go to sleep your core body temperature dips slightly to initiate sleep, this happens more readily in a room that’s a bit on the cool side.
The Sleep Sweet Spot
So just how much sleep is enough to help fertility? Dr. Melvin Thornton recommends seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Both too little and too much sleep can affect fertility in a negative way, most likely due to hormone production. Aim for a solid seven to eight hours for better overall health and well-being, and a positive impact on your fertility. Happy snoozing!
Learn more about how important sleep is for fertility at CT Fertility Schedule an appointment with one of our fertility specialists today or give our clinic a call at 203-373-1200.