The Relationship Between Sleep and Fertility

Relationship Between Sleep and Fertility

Are you considering conceiving this year? Are Your Sleep Patterns Impairing Your Chances to Have a Baby? If so, now is the right time to start developing proper sleeping habits to help set you in the right direction. Research indicates that women who do not get adequate sleep, which is between seven and nine hours of sleep in a day, or those who are night shift workers, have a lower chance of conceiving normally and through IVF also.

‘Sleep’ to be incorporated in the overall Trying To Conceive (TTC) Lifestyle Program

According to, “Circadian rhythms are biological processes that operate in a 24-hour cycle and are closely associated with the light-dark cycle. Most living organisms, plants, animals and humans are known to be influenced by Circadian rhythms are majorly of two types, A primary Circadian rhythm is the sleep/wake cycle, another function of the body clock that regulates the secretion of hormones.

Restful sleep maintains the equilibrium of the hormones in the body

Although research is limited in this domain, existing results conclude that sleeplessness or shifted circadian rhythms reduce fertility. For instance, in some research, when mice or rats were denied sleep or were made to stay awake at night but allowed to sleep during the day like shift workers, they were found to have low implantation rates and a high rate of miscarriage. Scientists found that the sleep disruption interfered with cycling normal hormonal secretion associated with reproduction.

Additional studies on circadian rhythms, primarily including female shift workers, revealed that women who worked swing or night shifts were more likely to:

  • Abnormalities in the menstrual cycle
  • PMS or periods that hurt more
  • Longer times between conceptions
  • Not getting pregnant
  • Miscarriage
  • Low birth weights

Therefore, bad sleep habits not only harm a woman’s ability to conceive but also jeopardize the health of her unborn child.

Lack of sleep affects other vital fertility aspects

“Clean up your lifestyle” is one of the tips in our piece on getting ready for pregnancy. The health of your reproductive system is closely related to your lifestyle choices, including sound sleeping patterns. In addition to having no direct impact on reproductive hormones, sleep deprivation is associated with:

  • Depression and moodiness
  • Absence of desire
  • Fatigue (that makes you choose sleep over sex)
  • Diminished effectiveness of the immune system
  • Increased inflammation

Your body’s ability to stay balanced and regenerated is aided by getting enough sleep each night, which greatly impacts your mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

It was shown by researchers studying sleep habits and reproduction that having too much is just as bad as having too little. The research studies referenced by categorized sleepers into three groups according to the average number of hours they slept:

  1. Those who only sleep for four to six hours each night
  2. Sleepers with a moderate sleep schedule (7 to 9 hours)
  3. Sleepers that stay up late (9 to 11 hours)

“Fertilization rates were similar across the three groups, but pregnancy rates were approximately 10% higher in moderate sleepers than long sleepers and about 7% higher in moderate sleepers compared to short sleepers,” the researchers observed.

Lack of sleep also poses a danger to male fertility

It is interesting to know that it takes a couple to make healthy sleeping patterns. Sleep deprivation also reduces the levels of testosterone, a factor that reduces fertility in men.

It is a well-known fact that in the male body, the majority of testosterone is synthesized during the nighttime. Another study revealed that estrogen levels in men were reduced by 10% only when men were denied adequate sleep and were allowed only five hours of sleep at night. Testosterone deficiency is associated with low sexual desire and also affects fertility as it results in low quantity and poor quality sperm.

Five Strategies to Boost Sleep Quality While TTC

Here are five easy strategies for re-establishing healthful routines:

  1. Requesting a shift exchange from your employer if you work nights or swing shifts while TTC.
  2. Even on the weekends, set regular “go to bed/wake up” timings to respect and reset your body’s circadian clock.
  3. Establish a bedtime “wind-down” ritual (taking a bath, using essential oils, listening to relaxing music, reading a book instead of using a device, etc.) to help your body and mind unwind and obtain a better night’s sleep.
  4. To start melatonin synthesis, turn down the lights and avoid using any screens for at least thirty minutes before bed. Your body interprets nearly all light, including blue light, as “daylight” and stops producing melatonin as a result.
  5. Avoid taking stimulants, such as alcohol or coffee, for at least a few hours before going to bed.

As you get ready to become pregnant, prioritize developing appropriate sleeping habits. Is the conception process taking longer than you anticipated? To find out why, make an appointment with Gobind Fertility & IVF.

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