Sleep (while you can) for better fertility

Little research has been so far connecting rest and sleep with good preconception health. However, environmental circadian disruption (ECD) has been linked to reproductive dysfunction and subfertility. The circadian timing system is deeply integrated in reproductive physiology. Sleep plays a crucial role in maintaining good health. It directly and immediately affects the quality of life, the overall health, and, consequently, also fertility.

Enough hours combined with a good quality of sleep helps refresh and restore the brain, the whole body and the hormones – including fertility hormones. With balanced hormones one can feel healthy, menstruation is regular, training benefits starts to show, and immunity is boosted. No time wasted in bed with a flu. Rather in bed sleeping -or even better, making babies.

In addition, there is a consensus that recovery from stress will benefit hormonal balance in both men and women. Stress impacts fertility more than has been previously known. Reducing stress may improve a couple’s chances of natural conception. Hormonal balance predetermines good fertility and preconception health. Sufficient and regular sleep aids in following a healthy diet and making healthy instead of unhealthy choices. Maintaining normal weight is easier with sufficient rest.

When one starts to make lifestyle choices, it is wise to start with adequate sleep; long enough and of good quality. Fix sleep first, and other choices might come easier.


Marika Mettälä, MHSc, RM, Senior Lecturer, Midwifery

Elina Botha, MHSc, RM, PHN, Doctoral Researcher, Senior Lecturer, Midwifery

Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Kuntokatu 3, 33520 Tampere, Finland

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