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Are you dealing with insomnia, or have you just been sleeping badly lately due to a lack of time, or perhaps stress? Everyone knows that a lack of sleep doesn't do your health any good.

Women who are trying to conceive have another thing to worry about. Does the quality of your sleep affect your fertility at all? In this post, we will explore how your sleep can influence your chances of getting pregnant. One thing is for sure pregnancy and babies definitely stop you from sleeping the whole night, comfortably. Can not sleeping well when you are trying to conceive actually prevent you from reaching those stages? Perhaps so. 

Sleep and fertility

One night's worth of bad sleep is not going to stop you from getting pregnant, but women who have long-term sleep quality problems may have a reduced chances of conceiving. You see, all kinds of things are happening inside your body while you are sleeping it's not just about getting some rest and processing the previous day's events. In the middle of the night, between midnight and 4 o'clock in the morning, your body is actively producing melatonin, testosterone, and is regulating the menstrual cycle.

Various studies have shown that women who have low melatonin levels are less fertile. You have probably heard of melatonin, and you probably know that it has something to do with sleep, and energy levels, and that you can take melatonin pills. But what exactly is this melatonin? It is a neurohormone that has a great impact on the functioning of your circadian rhythm, or natural biological clock. No, not the one that's ticking we're just basically talking about your body's daily rhythms.

Melatonin is produced inside the pineal gland, but only when it is dark. Insufficient melatonin production will eventually lead to the disruption of the function of other hormones too, including those that regulate the menstrual cycle. Low melatonin levels have been associated with various medical conditions, including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Women with PCOS often have trouble conceiving. In short, lack of sleep affects your hormonal function and your fertility. I'll add in another random factoid for fun: women who work nightshifts have a bigger chance of dealing with infertility than those who don't.

And as a final bonus, here's yet another random bit of Captain Obvious: when you don't sleep well, you get cranky and certainly won't feel up to doing all that stuff that's supposed to get you pregnant in the first place.

What can you do to improve the quality of your sleep?

Most folks who do not have a sleep disorder of some type will be able to improve the quality of their shut-eye quite a bit without any medical intervention. If you have been a night owl recently, and you think that your energy levels, mood, and fertility may benefit from a better routine, you are probably right. Don't think that you can get instant results, however. You will need to stick to your new regime consistently for at least a month for it to become a habit. Some changes you may want to make:

  • Go to bed at the same time every night, and also get up at the same time every morning.
  • Go to bed well before midnight, which is when that important hormone-regulating part of the night kicks in. You'll want to be asleep by that time.
  • Children are not the only people who thrive when they have a steady bedtime routine. Set one up for yourself, and notice how comforting it is. Try reading a book for 30 minutes before bed, or have a nice bath or shower, or... have your partner give you a massage.
  • Plan meals well before bedtime, and avoid caffeine late at night.
  • Exercise regularly at least four to five times a week. Exercising outside, in the fresh air, is especially beneficial. Mind you, don't plan your workout routine right before bedtime, because you won't be able to go to sleep afterwards.
  • Eliminate TV and internet time from your life in the hour or so before you go bed. If nothing else, you and your partner will have to find other ways to entertain yourselves. Maybe this will even get you pregnant :).

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