Tuesday 20 August 2019

Good night's sleep can improve chance of getting pregnant, study finds

Getting a good night’s sleep may help a woman conceive. Stock Image
Getting a good night’s sleep may help a woman conceive. Stock Image

Sarah Slater

Women need to realise how important sleep is if they are hoping to become pregnant, a leading expert has warned.

Committing to between seven and nine hours' sleep should be "non-negotiable" according to Lucy Wolfe, one the country's top sleep advisers.

Ms Wolfe's warning comes after a study showed women have a 20pc better chance at becoming pregnant than those who slept badly.

The study of Japanese women undergoing IVF by Kobe City Medical Centre, found growth rates among fertilised eggs was also 14pc faster among the women sleeping soundly.

Scientists behind the research said it showed high quality sleep was one of the most important factors hopeful mothers need to prioritise.

The study, carried out earlier this year, also found occasional moderate alcohol consumption had a positive impact on fertilisation by relieving stress and inducing sleep.

Presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine annual congress, the study follows previous research indicating sleeping less than six hours a night results in a 20pc drop in a hormone critical for conception.

Ms Wolfe, who runs the SleepMatters clinic in Cork, said: "Once again, this study illustrates the importance of sleep and for women trying to conceive it is another piece of the health triangle to consider alongside other lifestyle recommendations.

"Studies consistently highlight that sleep needs to be at the top of the health conversation as a prevention to illnesses and as a remedy too. Remembering that small adjustments can make a big difference to your sleep tendency and it is not to be underestimated.

"Women need to commit to seven to nine hours and make it non-negotiable. Limit exposure to electronics before bedtime, decrease or eliminate alcohol and caffeine intake and have a regular sleep schedule seven days a week."

Ms Wolfe added: "Academics believe sleep patterns affect fertility by altering levels of vertain hormones. Being short of sleep also raises a person's stress levels, which is another conception-related factor."

The findings also revealed pregnant women who sleep less than eight hours are more likely to suffer a miscarriage.

Irish Independent

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