Between work, family, and personal obligations, getting enough quality shuteye is difficult for over 30 percent of Americans. For couples struggling with infertility, the stress of undergoing fertility treatments can make getting enough sleep even more difficult. But for women trying to achieve a pregnancy, a lack of sleep could be sabotaging their chances of success. Here, the fertility experts of the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Orlando, Florida discuss the four ways poor sleeping habits can impact a woman’s ability to conceive.
Shortchanging yourself on sleep doesn’t just impact your mood and productivity, it also influences the hormones a woman secretes throughout her cycle. For women trying to conceive, getting enough quality sleep has a positive effect on the hormones a woman produces during her cycle. Getting in your recommended 7-8 hours each night can improve your levels of progesterone, estrogen, Leptin, and Follicle-Stimulating Hormones (FSH) – all of which are crucial to achieving and carrying a pregnancy.
Several studies have shown that the blue light from our electronics are keeping us from getting enough sleep. But the blue light from your gadgets isn’t just keeping you from sleeping well, it can also be negatively impacting your ability to get pregnant. The blue light emitted by your electronics suppress melatonin, a key hormone that both helps you sleep and protects your eggs when they are close to ovulation. Without adequate melatonin production, your egg quality can suffer and make achieving a pregnancy more difficult.
If you work the night shift and are trying to conceive, you may want to consider changing your schedule. The night shift has gained a reputation as the “infertility shift,” due to the higher rates of infertility among women who work nights. But why? Studies have shown that working the night shift can disrupt your circadian rhythm, causing hormonal imbalances, lower estrogen levels, and irregular menstrual cycles. These changes can all make it more difficult to both achieve a pregnancy, and carry a pregnancy to term.
For women undergoing IVF, getting enough quality sleep is even more important. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s study, women with low quality sleep had lower rates of fertility than those getting adequate rest. If you’re undergoing IVF, make sure to get 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night to give yourself your best chance of success.
While most women will find that they have at least one habits that negatively impacts the quality of their sleep, most are relatively easy to fix. In order to improve sleep quality and increase their chances of getting pregnant, women should:
Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
Put away computers, phones, tablets, and other electronics at least an hour before bedtime.
If you work night shifts, ask your employer if you can change your schedule. If your schedule can’t be changed, ask your employer if it would be possible to adjust the lighting.
If you’re trying to conceive, it is important to get enough quality sleep in order to improve your chances of success. While it can be difficult for couples with infertility to squeeze in those hours, doing so can help improve your chances of conceiving and building the family of your dreams.
If you’re having difficulty achieving a pregnancy and would like more information on the fertility options available to you, call the fertility specialists at the Center for Reproductive Medicine at 800-343-6331 or request an appointment today.