Day 18 - Sleep & Fertility: The Power of a Good Night's Sleep

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So far this week, we have talked about a few ways to tackle the stressors in your life.  Some may work better than others. 

The key is to try out each of them, get out of your comfort zone, and see what best suits you and your personality.

Today, I will be talking about the power of a good night’s sleep. 

Getting adequate sleep is important so that your body can rest, renew and repair itself.  Our bodies rely on sleeping and waking cycles to establish hormone balance.

I know that if I do not have adequate sleep, I become cranky and on edge with people. I easily become overwhelmed with my to do list.  I am exhausted so I am not motivated to exercise.  I even succumb to poor eating habits when I am tired.

So, you see, inadequate sleep can have a domino effect on other aspects of your health.  It can lead to increased stress, lack of motivation to exercise and also poor eating habits.

Recent research is showing that there is a connection between sleep problems and infertility.  The studies from the scientific journal, Fertility and Sterility, have shown the effects of sleep related factors on fertility.

According to Reproductive Resource Center, this is what the studies have found:

  • Light pollution can affect egg viability

Your body produces melatonin to regulate sleeping and waking cycles.  Did you know melatonin is also responsible for protecting eggs when they are close to ovulation, guarding against free-radicals and other degenerative entities?

If you sleep with the lights on, check your cell phone when it buzzes or keep the TV on at night, your body’s melatonin cycles will get messed up.  This can lead to damaged eggs because the melatonin is not able to work at full capacity to protect them. 

  • Sleep problems can affect FSH levels

Follicle – Stimulating Hormone or FSH controls the menstrual cycle and should be at its highest levels right before a woman ovulates.  Studies have shown that women who average a health amount of sleep each night (7- 9 hours) had FSH levels as much as 20% higher than women who averaged six or fewer hours per night.

Here are some tips for a better sleep

These tips come from Zita West in the book Fertility & Conception.

  • Get up at the same time each day - This is regardless of how much sleep you have had or what time you went to bed.
  • Try to go to bed at the same time each day - This is to get your body into a regular rhythm.
  • Try going to bed half an hour earlier for a week – See if this helps you feel better.
  • Keep the bedroom quiet and cool
  • Keep the bedroom as dark as possible – This helps your brain register that it’s time to sleep.
  • Keep the bedroom for resting – no phones, computers or piles of papers to distract you
  • Limit daytime nap to 30 minutes
  • Take a hot bath with lavender oil
  • Try to eat dinner before 7pm – This helps make sure your meal is digested before bed.
  • Avoid caffeine & alcohol at least 5 hours before bed
  • Get some fresh air and exercise each day

It is important to make the necessary changes to establish a healthy sleep pattern.  This will help improve your hormonal balance and will also help you better handle the stressors in your life. 

Your body and mind will be renewed and refreshed and you will be able to tackle whatever your day throws at you.

Don't forget to Share with others.  They can join the 31 Day Fertility Care Challenge at any time!  Sign up HERE!  Also, join the 31 Day Fertility Care Challenge Facebook Page for support, encouragement & accountability.  If you missed the last 2 weeks of Nutrition and Exercise Challenges or the Stress Challenges, you can find them on the 31 Day Fertility Care Challenge Pinterest Board.