Healthcare News

Could your sleep patterns be impacting your fertility? 6 tips to improve sleep | Health


Certain lifestyle habits can influence your fertility like being underweight or overweight, having an unhealthy diet, smoking, drinking, and avoiding exercise can negatively affect your ability to conceive but have you ever considered the role of sleep when it comes to fertility? Could your sleep patterns be impacting your fertility?

Could your sleep patterns be impacting your fertility? 6 tips to improve your sleep quality (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Could your sleep patterns be impacting your fertility? 6 tips to improve your sleep quality (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Shruti N Mane, Consultant Fertility and IVF expert at Motherhood Fertility and IVF in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, expalined, “This chronic sleep deprivation is often linked to stress anxiety and even infertility). Both males and females may find their fertility compromised due to insufficient sleep. A mere couple of nights without adequate rest can disrupt hormone production and the body’s response to stress. For sleep disturbances, the relevant domains could include sleep fragmentation, sleep continuity disturbance, short or long sleep duration, circadian dysrhythmia, and/or hypoxia. The major cause of disturbances in sleep with diminishing reproductive capacity is seen in the population with shift work patterns. CIRCADIAN RHYTHM also known as our body’s internal clock functions properly when our body is exposed to a consistent pattern of dark and light. Change in this pattern will cause adverse effects which is seen as an issue with people following shift work.”

Stay tuned with breaking news on HT Channel on Facebook. Join Now

She elaborated, “The most common adverse reproductive health problems observed were menstrual irregularities, dysmenorrhea, problems associated with conception, increased risk of miscarriages, and low birth weight babies. The same brain region in both genders that controls hormones related to sleep and wakefulness (cortisol and melatonin) also activates the hormones involved in reproduction. Hormones that prompt sperm maturation or trigger ovulation are linked to your sleep-wake cycle. Insufficient sleep can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, complicating conception efforts. Moreover, inadequate sleep can indirectly increase the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity which could hinder fertility. Stress prevents you from sleeping, while insufficient sleep exacerbates stress and anxiety levels.”

Dr Shruti N Mane highlighted, “Sleep disturbances may affect fertility by activation of the HYPOTHALAMIC-PITUITARY-ADRENAL- ADRENAL axis and interfere with normal follicular development, menstruation, and fecundity. Studies have shown that there is a stress-related alteration of progesterone secretion may increase the risk of miscarriages. The rise in stress levels has been known to cause a rise in stress hormone levels, hence leading to suppression of GnRH and altered ovulation causing amenorrhoea. Heightened stress has been shown to reduce innervation to the reproductive organs and this may affect ovary and follicle size. Few studies have shown that it can also cause a rise in cortisol levels and also reduce uterine receptivity. An increase in cortisol may also disrupt the oestrogen and progesterone balance in females leading to menstrual and ovulatory difficulties and decrease the testosterone levels in males causing decreased spermatogenesis. It can also lead to loss of libido and create a barrier in your relationship.”

Revealing that the melatonin, a hormone produced by the body in the dark, regulates our sleep and wake cycles, she added, “It acts as a natural antioxidant that helps in protecting and improving egg quality. Limiting screen time at night can prevent disruption of this hormone. Consistent sleep deprivation may affect the release of luteinizing hormone or LH, the hormone that causes ovulation. For instance, a female who lacks sufficient sleep might experience disruption in her ovulation-triggering hormones, impacting her menstrual cycle. When your body is stressed, it instinctively conserves energy as part of its fight-or-flight response which might impede ovulation or lead to irregular periods. To ensure that you are getting enough sleep, aim for at least 8 hours of sleep.”

Dr Shruti N Mane suggested the following tips to improve your sleep quality:

  1. Incorporate some form of aerobic exercise into your daily routine that temporarily increases your heart rate.
  2. Aim for at least 30 minutes, preferably outdoors. Even a simple activity like walking for half an hour can enhance your sleep quality.
  3. Maintain a consistent bedtime schedule, particularly when you’re trying to conceive. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  4. Create an ideal environment for sleeping by keeping your bedroom dark and cool. 5)Before hitting the sack, take some time to calm down. You could soak in a warm bath, enjoy a cup of tea, delve into a good book, or listen to soothing music.
  5. Avoid alcohol or caffeine at least seven hours before your bedtime.


Source link