Sleep plays a major role in people’s lives, influencing their quality and duration of life and general health. Lack of sleep can also affect fertility. Resting well for the right number of hours helps to refresh and restore the brain, internal organs and regulate hormones. This is why sleeplessness can affect fertility hormones. We talk about this topic with Dr. Luciano Negri, gynecologist at Humanitas.
Sleep and conception, what is the link?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of Americans do not sleep enough. In both men and women, the same part of the brain that regulates sleep-wake hormones (such as melatonin and cortisol) also triggers a daily release of reproductive hormones. These are substances that trigger ovulation in women and the maturation process of sperm in men, and can therefore be linked to the sleep-wake rhythms of the body. For example, in a woman, long-term sleep deprivation can directly affect the release of luteinizing hormone, or LH – the hormone that triggers ovulation as part of menstrual cycle regulation. Long-term sleep deprivation can also affect fertility in indirect ways, for example by increasing irritability and diminishing quality of life or by increasing risks associated with diseases that can affect fertility.
When you suffer from sleep disorders it is recommended to consult a doctor, letting him know whether you are trying to conceive or not in order not to be prescribed contraindicated drugs.