World Sleep Day 2021: Sleep Deprivation Can Affect Fertility, Know Risks and Prevention Tips

Sleep is important for holistic health. Sleep deprivation can affect a person’s fertility that may obstruct their conception process.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarUpdated at: Mar 19, 2021 14:31 IST
World Sleep Day 2021: Sleep Deprivation Can Affect Fertility, Know Risks and Prevention Tips

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Have you ever wondered what insomnia can do to your body? We all know that sleep is important but how many of you know why it is being said? Insomnia or sleep deprivation is an underrated issue that is the root cause of many health problems. This world sleep day, let us tell you sleep deprivation risks for fertility. Yes, poor sleep can affect your fertility and may even make you infertile. Dr. Lahari Katneni, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility, Hyderabad explains how sleep deprivation affects fertility and what measures can be taken to prevent that.

How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Fertility?

It is a well-known fact that a peaceful and uninterrupted sleep at night could do wonders for your body and its functions. Sleep deprivation can cause various complications including hampering your fertility as well. Sleep is important for general well-being and it is a fact that the happier you are, the higher are the chances of conception. Hormone development is the most important factor that sleep can influence in terms of fertility. We have made pointers for your better understanding:

  • Your body can produce less of those hormones and too much of others if you don't get enough sleep.
  • Reproductive hormones are regulated by the same part of the brain that controls sleep-wake hormones including melatonin and cortisol.
  • Sleep deprivation causes the body to create more stress hormones, which is harmful to one's overall health and may cause estrogen, testosterone, and other reproductive hormone levels to fluctuate.
  • It's also possible that your circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake cycle, is related to the reproductive hormones that cause women to ovulate.
  • It may also cause sperm maturation to be disrupted.
  • Menstrual irregularity occurs in women, making it impossible to predict ovulation and prolonging the process of attempting to conceive.
  • Men with unhealthy sperm are less likely to fertilize eggs, and if they do, the result may be non-viable embryos or it may lead to other complications.
How Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Fertility

These factors make it more difficult to conceive. This is why doctors advise a couple who wish to get pregnant to have restful sleep and stay away from stress. Besides, thyroid is also a prominent factor that is considered for fertility. Hypothyroidism can cause infertility that not many people know about.

In fact lack of sleep has a negative impact on your emotional wellbeing and mood. While a hormonal imbalance might lower your libido, being moody doesn't improve the situation. If you're irritable and exhausted for a long time, it's possible that you'll have issues with your partner or that your sexual relationship will suffer. A lack of sexual intimacy, whether you're using IUI or IVF, is a major obstacle to pregnancy.

Also Read: Fertility Diet Can Increase The Chances of Getting Pregnant

Sleep Deprivation and Fertility

How sleep plays a role in altering hormones?

Several sex hormones that are secreted in synergy with the body's circadian timing control human reproductive function. Generic signatures are generated by sleep cycles, which physiologically drive the synthesis, secretion, and metabolism of reproductive hormones. Sleep deficiency is becoming more widely recognised as one of the causes of infertility in both men and women. The hormone that causes ovulation as part of controlling your menstrual cycle, luteinizing hormone, or LH, can be affected by a lack of sleep. Because of the accompanying menstrual irregularity, it can take you longer to conceive.

The levels of many hormones are influenced by sleep, eating, and general activity, as well as the light and dark cycle. Interactions between the effects of sleep and the intrinsic circadian system affect the regulation and metabolism of many hormones, including growth hormone, melatonin, cortisol, leptin, and testosterone. Sleep and circadian rhythmicity are strongly linked to ghrelin levels. There are also endogenous circadian mechanisms that regulate glucose metabolism and other lipid metabolism rhythms, which are regulated by the actions of various clock genes. Obesity and insulin sensitivity are linked to sleep disruption, which has a detrimental effect on hormonal cycles and metabolism. Diabetes, hormonal imbalances, and a lack of appetite are all symptoms of appetite dysregulation. Due to disrupted glucose and lipid homeostasis, reversed melatonin and cortisol rhythms, and loss of clock gene rhythmicity, circadian disturbance, which is often caused by shift work, can have a negative effect on health.

Also Read: DIY Pillow Spray To Get A Restful Sleep Through The Night

How to Treat Sleep Deprivation?

How to Treat Sleep Deprivation

It is very necessary to tackle sleep deprivation or insomnia if you wish to have a healthy and happy long life. Sleep is important for one and all to ward off issues associated with it. Here are some easy hacks to maintain good sleep hygiene:

  • Maintaining consistency in bed timings is important. Therefore sleeping and waking up at a particular time is crucial.
  • Dinner should be taken at least 2 hours prior to bedtime.
  • For better sleep, do not consume a heavy dinner. Opt for light meals like soups, grilled veggies or meat, salads, etc.
  • It’s best to avoid stressful thoughts before going to bed.
  • Limit screen time and do not use any smartphone or gadget on the bed.
  • Keep aside your phone at least one hour prior to sleeping.
  • If possible, try to read a book before bedtime as it helps in attracting positive thoughts and helps fall asleep sooner and better.


A healthy sleep habit for couples can go a long way in improvising fertility and chances of conception. Hectic work schedules may affect your routine including diet and sleep but you need to improvise it for your betterment. Couples must work on their sleep-wake routine to increase their chances of conception. After reading this article, you must have well understood the importance of sleep for fertility.

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