When we think of working on staying healthy, we often think of what we eat or how much exercise we get. Yet good sleep habits are just as critical to our health and, in turn, affect our fertility.
During sleep, hormones are released that enable our bodies to recover and refresh for the next day. Keeping those hormones in balance can also help keep your reproductive hormones in balance.
Your Circadian Clock
Each person has a circadian rhythm -- the regular cycle of waking and sleeping in your life. This regular cycle dictates when certain body functions occur and can regulate things such as hormones, metabolism, and appetite. Exposure to light, in particular, helps your body measure its circadian rhythm. If your body’s rhythm is continually disrupted, its hormone secretion levels fluctuate. Not only does that keep your reproductive hormones from being stable, it can increase the likelihood of miscarriage or fetal complications.
Sleep also keeps you healthy in other ways. For example, healthy sleep habits boost your immunity, keeping you from getting sick. When a man gets sick, his sperm count drops for up to four months after he has recovered. Sleep loss can also contribute to a lower sex drive, more tension in relationships, and effects such as vaginal dryness.
It’s important to make sleep a priority. The chemical reactions within our body can’t happen without it and that is one of the most important factors in keeping our hormones on track and ready to help you conceive. We’ll be preparing for an earlier bedtime tonight ourselves! For more information on how sleep can affect your health, give us a call at 717-747-3099 or click here to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Melanie Ochalski
P.S. Especially when feeling exhausted, a fertility struggle can seem without hope. To read some stories of hope, check out our new eBook available free here.