- Insufficient sleep or sleep problems can lower the chances of conception.
- Women sleeping less than six hours per night suffer a 20 percent reduction in a follicular-releasing hormone which is necessary for conception.
- On the other hand, the eggs of women with no sleep problems were successfully fertilised 62.9% of the time.
Sleep is an essential day to day activity that sustains a healthy well being. This holds true as a recent study done among women finds that failing to get a good night's sleep may make it harder to have a baby
A research team from the Hanabusa clinic in Kobe, Japan, asked 208 women who were having problems getting pregnant to fill in a survey known as the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.
‘Good sleep patterns can be one of the important daily habits for patients to improve their response to fertility treatments and increase their chances of pregnancy.’
This assesses factors including how long they slept for, whether they woke up in the night, their disturbances, use of sleeping pills, their subjective sleep quality and how much alcohol they drank.
Based on the results, the patients were divided into three groups: no sleep difficulties (65 percent), mild difficulties (26.8 percent) and severe difficulties (8.2 percent). The chance of eggs fertilised in the laboratory successfully growing into embryos was then assessed.
The findings show that:
- The eggs of women with no sleep problems were successfully fertilised 62.9 percent of the time.
- Those with mild sleep difficulties had a to 57.1% failure
- Patients with severe difficulties had a 48.4 percent failure
Occasional or moderate alcohol consumption had a positive impact on fertilisation, they found. This may be due to the beneficial effects of a moderate amount of alcohol, such as relieving stress and inducing sleep.
The researchers said: 'Good sleep patterns can be one of the important daily habits for patients to improve their response to fertility treatments and increase their chances of pregnancy.'
Professor Matthew Walker, of the Sleep Research Centre at Berkeley University said that the results are consistent with previous findings, "For example, women sleeping less than six hours per night suffer a 20 percent reduction in a follicular-releasing hormone - a critical female reproductive element that peaks just prior to ovulation and is necessary for conception."
Fertility Inhibitors That Affect Chances Of Pregnancy
- A physically demanding job or work schedule outside of normal office hours may lower a woman's ability to conceive.
- Women working evening, night or rotating shifts had fewer mature eggs, on average, than those working normal shifts. This could be as a result of disruption to the body clock.
- Consumption of trans fat is associated with inflammation and insulin resistance, the major risk factors for infertility.
- Being overweight or obese has a negative impact on female reproductive health. The rate of pregnancy in such females is lower and it may even lead to early pregnancy loss.