Is your sleep negatively affecting your fertility?
“Sleep is like the golden chain that binds our health and body together.”
We spend 25%-35% of our lives in a sleep state. Sleep is critically important to our health and overall well being. Just one night of little sleep and we can feel the effects: irritability and grogginess. Overtime a lack of sleep can compound and lead to more serious issues.
Why do humans needs to sleep so much? The answer partially lies in regenerating our bodies. While you are resting, the body gets to work. Overnight the body can renew its cellular function, remove toxic debris, clear out the glymphatic system of the brain, and reset your hormonal system. Sleep acts positively on your entire HPO axis (hypothalamus, pituitary, ovary) and plays a critical role in regulating hormones.
It is quite simple, without deep, quality sleep you can't have healthy hormones. If your hormones are out of balance, it can negatively impact your fertility.
The question is:
What can you do to optimize your sleep to help regulate your hormonal health and increase fertility?
Try these Tips:
More sun for a better night's sleep
UV rays from the sun set our circadian rhythm. A walk outside within the first hour of waking up gives your body infrared light which helps to activate your mitochondria - the power grid of your body. Healthy mitochondria are the basis of a healthy body and fertility.
In addition, morning sun influences melatonin production at night. Melatonin not only makes you start yawning and feel sleepy at night, but it is one of the body's strongest antioxidants. Melatonin has been found to positively influence egg quality. Start the day off on the right foot and get outside for a short walk. Expose your eyes to sunlight without glasses or contacts which block UV rags. Do not look directly at the sun, simply turn your eyes upwards towards the sky and know that you are doing something positive while trying to conceive.
Sleep apnea - a sleep stealer
Have you ever been awakened at night by snoring followed by a loud snort? This seemingly innocent (and let's face, it sometimes funny) sound is a sign of something more serious: sleep apnea. When a person stops breathing while sleeping this a condition known as sleep apnea. Long pauses between breaths are literally the phases when the body is not being supplied with an intake of oxygen. Sleep apnea can increase the likelihood of headaches, moodiness, brain fog, poor memory metabolic conditions, heart attacks and strokes to name a few. It affects the one with sleep apnea as well as their partner in bed. It is best to consult with your doctor and request a sleep study for treatment.
If you suffer from digestive or elimination issues, give sleeping on your left side a try. Take a pillow and place it between your knees to keep your hips aligned and back straight. Sleeping on your left side can help the small intestine and large intestine work overnight, lower acid reflux, and support the glympahtic system in the brain. Sleeping on your side can also reduce snoring and sleep apnea.
Give these tips a try and let me know how it goes!
Want more information to support your sleep and overall fertility and pregnancy journey? Check out the Preconception Bundle which includes more helpful info on getting better sleep.