We’re exploring the correlation between sleep and fertility and sharing what to avoid, and how to improve your sleep overall. Ideally, people trying to conceive should get eight to nine hours of quality sleep every night, when possible. This amount of sleep can support healthy levels of the hormones that are crucial for developing a healthy pregnancy.
In addition to improving fertility health, getting eight to nine hours of sleep can minimize stress by reducing cortisol levels and emotional reactiveness. This stress reduction is also helpful when navigating fertility challenges.
What affects quality sleep?
While getting enough sleep is a great way to support fertility health, there are certain factors that can diminish sleep quality. Many of these factors may have links to fertility issues.
- Being exposed to blue light. In addition to negatively affecting sleep, exposure to blue light at night might harm egg quality. A study published in the Journal of Pineal Research found that blue light from electronics suppresses melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep and protects the quality of your eggs as you near ovulation. You can reduce your exposure to blue light in the evening by keeping screens out of your bedroom as much as possible.
- Working the night shift. A study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention found that working the night shift can interfere with levels of melatonin and reproductive hormones.
Other studies found an association between working the night shift and having poorer egg quality. They also found that those who work nights are more likely to need fertility treatments and have irregular menstrual cycles.
How to improve your sleep.
In addition to minimizing blue light in the bedroom and switching from the night to the day shift (when possible!) there are things you can do to enhance your quality of sleep.
- Minimize stressors right before bed. Set yourself up for quality sleep by staying away from stressors like work emails or tense conversations before bed.
- Create a sleep sanctuary. Investing in high-quality bedding and pajamas and ensuring your room is completely dark can enhance your sleep.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Having a regular sleep schedule can condition your body to sleep soundly for eight to nine hours.
- Stick to a bedtime routine. Relaxing rituals like meditation, deep breathing and smelling soothing essential oils can often make it easier to fall asleep.
- Don’t consume caffeine after late afternoon. Having caffeine in the late afternoon or evening can disrupt sleep.
While quality sleep can support your fertility health, you might need additional assistance when trying to conceive. Our care team is here to help you take the next step. Contact us to schedule your first visit.