A good night’s sleep is vital for health—and it could be a must-have if you want to boost your fertility prospects.
If you have a sleep disorder other than sleep apnea, you may be more than three times as likely to experience infertility compared to women who don’t have problems sleeping, a study in Sleep finds.
Researchers also found that women with insomnia were more than four times as likely to have infertility compared to those getting their Z’s properly.
Studies had already linked apnea to infertility, but this study focused on other types of sleep disorders and how they could impact a woman’s fertility.
“Women of child-bearing age should sleep earlier, avoid night shift work or cellphone use before sleep,” Dr. I-Duo Wang of the Tri-Service General Hospital and National Defense Medical Center in Taipei, Taiwan, told Reuters Health. “Moreover, a healthy diet, regular exercise and a good lifestyle are important to prevent infertility.”
As part of her study, researchers looked at data from 16,718 women in Taiwan who were newly diagnosed with sleep disorders from 2000 and 2010. They also assessed a comparison group of 33,436 similar women who didn’t experience sleep problems. Ages ranged from 20 to 45, with the average age around 35 years old.
After five years, they found that 29 participants with sleep disorders had developed infertility, as had 34 women in the comparison group. They say women with sleep disorders are about 2.7 times more likely to experience infertility. When factoring in age and other health issues, that grew to 3.7 times more likely.
“Lack of sleep can be associated with significantly higher rates of diabetes and heart disease so would not be surprised if there was a direct impact upon reproduction, especially because we know that sleep can impact hormones,” Serena Chen, M.D., a fertility specialist from New Jersey, told HelloFlo.
“It does not sound like they know the mechanism of action but poor sleep is associated with health risks, and poor health can definitely impact reproductive health and pregnancy outcomes,” she added. “I always tell my patients to work on sleep hygiene and getting at least seven hours a night on a regular basis.”