Research has revealed that sleep has quite a number of benefits ranging from improving your happiness in life to developing a stronger immunity. The benefits of sleep are almost endless, and researchers now argue that high quality sleep can drastically increase your chances of conception.
There are many recommendations out there for boosting fertility and conception such as cutting back on certain foods, specific workouts, certain herbs, and having sex regularly among many more. However, very little is discussed on the importance of better quality sleep in increasing chances of conception. A lot of arguments have come up concerning the relationship between sleep and conception and are often dismissed by a majority who believe sleep has got nothing to do with fertility and getting pregnant.
Despite this, more and more research is done on this topic with some interesting results. If you have been trying to get a baby in vain, then you need to get some facts on how poor sleep quality might actually be lowering your chances of conceiving.
Effects of melatonin on conception
Quality sleep has generally been observed as increasing chances of fertility in both men and women. However the biological explanation is less known.
According to researchers from UCLA, Osaka University and the Japan Science and Technology Agency, the melatonin hormone is responsible for the improved fertility. This hormone is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. Prior to sleep, the gland stimulates production of the hormone making you to feel sleepy. Besides this, the hormone also modulates progesterone and estrogen receptors. These two hormones mainly influence fertility.
The researchers came up with this conclusion when they were doing an experiment on the effects of light during sleep. Results from their research were quite convincing because the mice that were exposed to normal day-night light patterns had a higher conception percentage compared to those that were exposed to artificial light during sleep. What this simply implies is that disturbed or poor quality sleep can directly affect your fertility and conception.
Effects of sleep on ovulation and sperm production
Poor quality sleep negatively impacts ovulation, thus resulting in irregular menstruation due to disrupted circadian rhythms. Many women working nights are likely to experience erratic and irregular periods. The UCLA Scientists recommend 8 hours of sleep for proper functioning of the body.
Testosterone, the sperm production hormone, is usually produced at night when one is asleep. Lack of adequate and quality sleep will thus cause a slump in the production of the hormone, resulting in reduced sperm production. In order to increase testosterone levels, you simply need to have enough sleep. This is according to a study report published in the Journal of American Medical Association.
Sleep, stress and conception
Researchers have been closely looking into the effects of stress in general. However recent research has indicated that high levels of alpha-amylase enzyme are
responsible for stress, and indeed influence the chances of getting pregnant as well.
Stress management is therefore a crucial remedy to this. Too much stress can greatly interfere with the functioning of the hypothalamus, a gland in the brain responsible for regulation of appetite and emotions, as well as triggering reproduction hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Inability to conceive can be quite stressful as anxiety and depression take control.
Anxiety tends to increase with sleep deprivation and the effects are devastating. So, prioritize your sleep patterns and avoiding stress as much as you can.
Sleep, immune system, implantation and conception
The relationship between sleep and the immune system is a subject that has been explored by scientists and researchers for a very long time. The impact of immune factors on fertility has also been given analysis. Cytokines are specific immune factors that regulate sleep, and lack of sleep often alters them. Chronic insomnia often results in higher levels of cytokines which affect certain parts of the reproductive system especially implantation and development of the placenta. Cases of miscarriage are often attributed to the suboptimal cytokine en
vironments in the body.
Sleep, weight loss, metabolism and fertility
Excess weight usually affects fertility and conception. A recent study by American Journal of Clinical Nutrition carried out to determine the effect of sleep on weight loss, indicated that poor quality sleep reduced the likelihood of weight loss. Reduced sleep leads to lower resting metabolic rate and increased hunger. This is the main cause of weight gain and accelerated with production of ghrelin, the hormone that promotes fat retention in the body.
The National Sleep Foundation have observed that more than 70% of people in the developed world don’t get sufficient sleep despite the many benefits, such as increasing fertility levels, boosting sex hormones, stamina, sperm production, menstrual regularity and reduction of stress levels among others. If you fall into this category, it might be time to get back to basics and get your sleep on track.
Bio: Sarah is the Editor of Sleepy Deep. Feeling the repercussions of being an irregular sleeper for far too long, she decided to do something about it. She learned why sleep is so important and how to maximize it, and is now helping others who are struggling to find their right sleep routine.