Sleep greatly affects overall health in general and reproductive health in particular, and can even reduce the ability to conceive in both sexes.
Effects of sleep deprivation on fertility
Many studies have shown a link between sleep duration, quality, and fertility in both sexes. Sleep affects fertility in many different ways, the most important of which is hormone production.
During sleep, part of the brain stimulates the body to produce hormones like melatonin or cortisol that help regulate the circadian sleep-wake rhythm. This part of the brain is also involved in the release of sex hormones in both sexes. Prolonged lack of sleep affects brain activity, thereby reducing the amount of sex hormones in the body.
Lack of sleep also signals the body to produce more stress hormones. This factor can be detrimental to overall health and lower levels of estrogen, testosterone, and other sex hormones. The wake-sleep circadian rhythm is also involved in the production of hormones that stimulate ovulation in women and sperm maturation in men.
For women, long-term lack of sleep or poor sleep can directly affect the release of luteinizing hormone or the ovulation-stimulating hormone LH, which in turn causes menstrual disorders. Irregular periods make it difficult for women to predict ovulation and affect the process of conceiving. In men, lack of sleep negatively affects sperm maturation and causes many malformations. Unhealthy sperm will have difficulty moving or not be able to fertilize an egg. If you are lucky enough to be fertilized, the embryo is often weak, deformed or difficult to survive.
Lack of sleep, not sleeping well for a long time also affects mood and spirit. People with regular sleep deprivation will be irritable, irritable, tired and may have a decreased sex drive. In addition, poor sleep also increases the risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and makes pregnancy more difficult.
How to improve sleep quality?
According to health experts, a person needs 7-8 hours of sleep every night to maintain stable sex hormone levels, increase sex drive and improve fertility. Here are some ways to improve sleep quality.
Sleeping time: Depending on work and daily activities, each person will have a different sleep time. However, if possible, try to sleep before 10 p.m. and maintain 7-8 hours of sleep each night. To ensure quality sleep, everyone should go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends.
Avoid consuming caffeine before bed: Caffeine is one of the factors that can affect sleep. Therefore, experts recommend that people, especially those who are prone to insomnia, need to avoid consuming caffeine at least 4-6 hours before going to bed. People who are trying to get pregnant also need to limit their caffeine and alcohol consumption or should only use it in moderation.
Mental relaxation: Performing activities that cause stress, such as working, watching horror movies, or reading books right before bed can affect sleep quality. Instead, make time for mental relaxation with activities like meditation, breathing, or yoga to sleep better.
Limit the use of electronic devices: Using electronic devices before bed makes people tend to sleep later, thereby reducing sleep time. These devices also affect the brain and make it difficult for users to fall asleep. Blue light from electronic devices also disrupts the production of the hormone melatonin, affects the normal circadian rhythm, and causes insomnia and poor sleep.
Create a quiet, comfortable, low-light sleeping space: Everyone should try to keep a quiet, comfortable sleeping space. People who have difficulty sleeping should turn off all lights or use low-power lights at night to help them sleep better.
Spend time outdoors: Spending about an hour outdoors each day improves sleep quality, making it easier for people to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Phuong Quynh (According to Verywellfamily, Carolinas Fertility Institute)
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