Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sleep – Disorder & Fertility


The role of sleep is primarily to help repair and rejuvenate the body and its systems such as the reproductive system and the brain. If we do not get enough sleep for any extended period of time our mood, hormone balance, and our immune system will suffer. This not only wreaks havoc on our day-to-day lives and activities but it also interferes with our fertility. Sleep loss has also been associated with irregular menstrual cycles which can obviously affect your chances of getting pregnant.
 It has also been shown that gaining weight is directly linked to infertility. Studies have shown that lack of sleep is associated with weight gain and the body resisting insulin. Too much insulin is seen as a key factor in infertility because of all of the things that it can do to your body including increasing your risk of Type2 diabetes.

Something that you surely know is that when you don’t get you optimum hours of sleep you’re likely to end up suffering from stress. Stress has been directly linked to problems such as memory lapses, coordination problems, and yes, infertility. A lack of sleep can also lead to
depression and a depressed person is not likely to be functioning at an optimal level in any area of their life which also leads to not taking proper care of their bodies.
The role of sleep in our lives is far too important for us not to get enough of it no matter how busy. It has been suggested that we need at least seven hours of sleep each day to help us stay healthy and have the energy to get through the day. To get the amounts of sleep you need when trying to conceive it’s advised that you stay away from overnight work as this is related to menstrual irregularities and pregnancy risks. Doing shift work when you’re trying to conceive is also not advised if it can be avoided. If you have to work on a shift then you need to ensure that you get enough rest when you are not at work and resist the urge to fill your free time with errands and chores as opposed to relaxation. To foster good sleep and increase your chance of being fertile, try to keep your sleep times consistent. The same goes for when you’re awake. Prior to going to bed, try to avoid doing anything like watching action television and eating spicy foods. These kinds of activities tend to cause your mind to race and not be in a relaxed mode, preventing you from getting a good night's sleep.
  • Missing your required number of sleep hours a night can impact your ability to conceive.
  • The average woman (30 to 60 years old) gets only 6 hours 41 minutes of sleep during the work week, according to the National Sleep Foundation, when she really needs 7 to 9 hours.
  • Sleep has a powerful influence on the body’s hormonal system, which controls a woman’s cycle and regulates ovulation.
  • Too little sleep leads to low leptin levels, the hormone responsible for appetite and which can impact ovulation.
  • Insomniacs have a significantly higher level of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenocorticotropic, both of which can suppress a healthy fertility cycle.
The take-home message is clear: you could be doing “everything right” when it comes to preparing your body to conceive and bring a healthy baby to term. But with so much focus on external factors like your environment and what you put in your mouth, the time has come to add another aspect to this big equation: sleep.
All the healthy, pure food in the world and all the attention to getting your body into tip-top prenatal shape won’t cure a hormonal system gone awry from missing sleep. So if you’re thinking of having a baby, put sleep at the top of the list. And if you’re going to worry about your environment, remember to also think about the one in the bedroom.
Some suggestions to overcome this problem;
Meet your sleep requirements – [minimum 8 hrs/day]
Go outside- The suggested amount of sunlight on a daily basis is about an hour
Calm your mind- Before bed, avoid activities that keep your mind racing, and instead relax into a peaceful sleep

1 comment:

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