by Dr. Jill Blakeway, DACM, L.Ac

Could Insomnia Be Affecting Your Fertility?

You may already know that sleep is important to your health, and surely you’ve experienced how vital it is to your state of mind. As it turns out, it is also valuable for fertility; lack of sleep can play a role in infertility.

Consequently, sleep was a subject Dr. David and I talked about in our bestselling fertility book Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility. We felt so strongly that women who are trying to conceive should be getting a good night’s sleep that we included advice in the book on how to achieve this.

According to the CDC, 1 in 3 adults are not getting enough sleep. Over the long run, insufficient sleep, whether in quantity or quality, can affect your mood and your immunity. Sleep deprivation also alters your hormone balance and encourages other fertility-disrupting lifestyle factors such as weight gain, overuse of caffeine, and tension with your partner.

Sleep can help restore and rejuvenate your brain and all your organ systems, including the reproductive system while lack of sleep can lead to irregular menstrual cycles and affect ovulation, making it harder to conceive.

When researchers surveyed women in notoriously sleep-deprived professions— flight attendants and nurses working the late shift— half of them reported irregular cycles (compared to about 20 percent in the general population). Some had stopped ovulating altogether.

What You Can Do About It

One of the more enjoyable ways to improve your fertility is to spend more time in bed! Not getting enough sleep adds to the list of stresses that you and your body have to cope with. For most people, six hours just isn’t enough. It is recommended that adults try to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

If you have trouble sleeping, even once you’ve made room for it in your life, we suggest you come in and see us at the YinOva Center or seek out a local practitioner of Chinese medicine for help. Regular acupuncture and an herbal formula, tailored to your specific pattern, can make a big difference.

In the meantime, you can check out this article from our YinOva Blog about sleep hygiene, and this one where we share our best sleep tip.

If you need more in-depth fertility counseling, all the practitioners here at the YinOva Center have many years of experience helping couples to conceive. We love our job and are happy to chat to you about any aspect of the fertility journey. 

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