The Importance of Sleep and Why you Probably Need More
As you’re reading this, we’ve said so long to Daylight Savings. Most of us that follow daylight savings got that (needed) extra hour of sleep.
The importance of sleep is not something new. It plays a vital role in our lives and greatly affects our overall health. But did you know that it could play a role in your fertility? Seven hours of sleep a night is recommended for adults over the age of 21, but according to a recent study by the Center for Disease Control, a third of America adults fall short of this goal.
When we sleep, it gives our bodies the time to refresh and reset your brain and organ systems. This time is also crucial to regulate important hormones in your body. Sleep fluctuations affect melatonin levels, which affect the immune system, controls reproductive hormones and may play a role in egg fertilization and embryo viability. Women who have irregular sleeping patterns have also had negative effects on their menstrual cycles
Decreased sleep can have the following effects on hormones:
- Elevated TSH can cause anovulation, recurrent miscarriages, amenorrhea, and other menstrual irregularities
- Elevated Prolactin levels, which can affect ovulation
- Interference with LH Levels, which normally tell the brain to release the egg during ovulation
The effects of sleep on reproductive hormones are still being studied, but there are already multiple cases whereby sleep quality or quantity can have a negative effect on your reproductive system. Because the relationship between your reproductive hormones is a delicate dance, getting enough sleep is one way to help your body regulate itself.
Some helpful tricks to get those extra ZZZ’s:
- Create a sleep schedule: Try and get into the habit of waking up and going to bed around the same time every day.
- Still your mind: Practice some meditation, focus on your breathing and figure out a way to calm your mind before bed, which can lead to a more restful and productive sleep
- Put away that technology: Put down that phone, put away that laptop and turn off that TV. Blue light from our technology affects the production and secretion of melatonin, making it more difficult to fall and stay asleep.