The best inspiration to write is drawn from patient queries – I got asked if it was true that sleep improved progesterone (the hormone secreted from ovulation to assist in implantation and pregnancy). Want to know the truth of the matter? Keep reading.
In a nut shell, stress and lack of rest (aka sleep) mucks everything up. We know how awful and depleted we feel when we are stressing more and resting less – if you go long enough without adequate rest you might notice your skin gets dry, your eyes sink and you feel awful. It’s fair to say that when you feel like this, the same would apply for the reproductive organs – they would literally be dry and sunken! It’s not just a consequence that you feel lousy – its a sign that your body is severely lacking. When we fail to listen to the warning bells, we can’t expect great health. So here you go…. drum roll…..
Sleep between the hours 10pm – 6am will absolutely lower FSH levels via prolactin. This is good news for fertility as it basically sets about the correct chain of events surrounding ovulation.
Basically our bodies all have a 24 cycle, known as the circadian rhythm. It’s the bodies inner time keeper responsible for the day to day (and night) body functions. One of it’s main jobs is hormone production. The eyes are receptive to light which is detected in the brain, sending messages to the circadian clock. When light is decreased, our clock tells us it is time to rest, and adversely when there is more light we are stimulated to be awake. Alteration to this cycle disrupts the normal body rhythm. Regular disruption to these patterns will most certainly affect our bodies normal working order – fertility included. Most of the secretion of hormones is controlled by the circadian clock, and sleep is one of the major things that will affect this – we need to sleep at the right time.
Here’s some more food for thought… literally.
Women who sleep less than 5 hours per night are more likely to be overweight and drink more coffee. Both affect fertility. We know that weight alone can lower fertility by up to 50%. Get out those eyepatches ladies! Lack of sleep will also make you more hungry (I suspect as our body craves the right balance – and we look for it in the wrong place) and does whacky things to hormones – to the point where it can lead to diminished fertile mucus.
But don’t think the buck stops there – men are in just as much need to a quality night sleep. Their fertility (specifically sperm) is also affected as the testosterone balance is skewed should they not get enough shut eye also. Undoubtably men feel just as awful as a woman would without adequate rest – also falling way to being over weight – again affecting fertility. Men who are fatigued have a lower libido and are more likely experience erectile dysfunction.
So get to bed! Start sleeping earlier, rising earlier and be more fertile. Sometimes the simplest solutions provide great answers.