Getting Enough Sleep: A Lifestyle Factor Correlates with Male Fertility

Common sense edicts:  Eat right, get some exercise in your day, and now, yes, get enough sleep, are all factors that can affect general health as well as fertility. 

The need for adequate sleep has earned attention  in New research presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s annual conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The research explored data from a population of couples planning to get pregnant, the Boston University Pregnancy Online Study (PRESTO).   With regard to 695 couples who had been trying to conceive for six months or less, findings revealed that the men’s quality and length of sleep was associated with the chances of successful conception. Men who reported regularly sleeping either less or more than 6 to 8 hours of sleep were less likely to initiate a pregnancy with their partners, as were men who reported having trouble sleeping at least some of the time. The success rate lowered the worse sleep the men got, and the relationship held firm even after accounting for other factors like a history of depression, body mass index, or frequency of sex.

With respect to the mechanism of action, there is speculation that disruption of the normal circadian rhythms of certain body hormones involved in reproduction may be infovled.   Testosterone, for example has a normal rise and fall throughout the day; a cycle that can be affected by disruptions in sleep.

With respect to couples trying to get pregnant, add sleep to the list of lifestyle considerations that can impact on your success.

Source: Wise L, Mckinnon C, Wesselink A, et al. Sleep And Male Fecundity In A North American Preconception Cohort Study. American Society for Reproductive Medicine Scientific Congress. 2016.

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