Sleep, or rather the lack of it can cast a great influence on your fertility both directly and indirectly. According to the IVF centre, It is well known that poor sleep can result in stress and an increase in weight. However, few people know that it can also affect fertility levels. It might require infertility treatment if you develop changes in the body due to long term lack of sleep. The reason behind this fact is that a lack of sleep tends to affect the various hormones of our body (ghrelin, insulin, leptin, and cortisol). Cortisol triggers the release of reproductive hormones, therefore a chronic lack of sleep can influence the functioning of the menstrual cycle and in turn the fertility of the woman.
Sleep and Weight
The relationship between sleep and obesity is cyclical. Poor sleep leads to obesity, but obesity can be counted as one of the numerous factors which cause an inability to sleep. The process can result in a vicious cycle which is hard to break.
Many obese women have been found to prone to having irregular menstrual cycles, and an increased risk of miscarriage. PCOS can also be seen more in obese women. The same is true for obese men. With alterations in estrogen and androgen levels, obese men have an increased risk of developing the condition of sleep apnea.
Stress and Sleep
High Stress can lead to a lack of sleep, which in turn contributes to infertility. Stress can alter the HPA axis function, key factors in the reproduction cycle. HPA axis function controls the way the hormones, follicle development, and menstruation happen. Therefore, high Stress can lead to problems in these aspects. Stress is also known to alter the uterine receptivity and is counted as a major factor in suppressing reproductive hormones.
The HPA axis can cause a decrease in melatonin levels, which again leads to a lack of sleep. Thus, you have another cycle that is tough to break and stands in the way of fertility. Beat stress by meditation, creating social links and seeking the help of support groups.
Your Sleep Cycle timing
Modern lifestyle has brought about an alteration in the timing of sleep and waking up. People tend to work in various shifts which make them alter their natural lifestyle. The people working in night shifts have to compromise with the natural timing of circadian rhythms, which work according to the exposure to sunlight. People with such a lifestyle tend to develop low melatonin levels, inflammation in the body, and reduction in fertility.
So review your sleep pattern and try to rectify it if you suspect infertility.