Why a good night’s sleep is good for fertility
Because prioritising you slumber is important.
By Leah Hechtman
A recent report from the Sleep Health Foundation found that more than half of adult Aussies suffer from at least one chronic sleep symptom, including trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking too early and not being able to get back to sleep.
We know that sleep plays an important role in our lives. But have you ever thought about how sleep relates to fertility?
We spoke to Australia’s leading fertility expert, Leah Hechtman to find out.
The link between fertility and sleep
When we sleep, a number of hormone pathways are activated directly (such as melatonin) and indirectly (such as estrogen, testosterone and progesterone), which are important for conception.
One study has found that sleep deprivation in women increases the amount of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), one of the most important female hormones responsible for preparing the ovaries to release the eggs.
In men, one week of fewer than five hours of sleep at night has been shown to decreases testosterone levels by 10 to 15 percent, which reduces male’s chance of conception by 31 percent as most of the testosterone release in men occurs at night.
Insomnia is highly prevalent in couples struggling to conceive. Repeated disappointment or failed attempts to get pregnant may cause an increase in the psychosocial distress associated with infertility.