How Your Sleep Habits Can Affect Your IVF Success

In the realm of self-care and good health, the focus tends to center around nutrition and exercise, and with good reason. Eating nutrient-dense food and making movement a part of your daily routine can help keep you healthy and fit and also guard against disease as you age (via Harvard Health).

When it comes to fertility, moderate regular exercise and a healthy diet can also help you get pregnant faster by boosting your reproductive system. Foods that are high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants have been determined to enhance fertility (via Healthline). Research also says that full-fat dairy can boost pregnancy chances. On the exercise front, the goal should be moderate movement. Excessive exercise can thwart your fertility efforts

Yet the one component of getting pregnant that can go overlooked, especially in today's chaotic society, is sleep. Getting good sleep isn't a perk; it's a necessity. Sleep habits can actually affect IVF success rates.

Getting a good night's sleep is important for IVF

Sleep is the way your body resets. To put it in the most basic terms, if you don't sleep well, your body doesn't work the way it should. That includes your fertility.

According to a study done on sleep and female fertility, a lack of sufficient sleep affects your reproductive hormones including estradiol, progesterone, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) (via the National Library of Medicine). The sleep-wake cycle helps regulate hormone production; when it's negatively impacted, so are your hormones. Not getting enough sleep can also make your uterus less receptive to implantation and cause an inflammatory response in your body, which isn't ideal for conception.

When undergoing IVF, your body is being pumped with extra hormones which already can lead to irritability, mood swings, depression, and a decreased libido (via Psychology Today). All of that can worsen when you don't get enough sleep.

Aim for between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night

According to a study on IVF success and sleep, getting too little (4-6 hours) or too much (9-11 hours) sleep can significantly affect IVF success (via Fertility and Sterility). The pregnancy success rate was close to 10 percent higher in women who were moderate sleepers and got 7-8 hours of sleep each night as compared to those who slept too much. Compared to those who slept too little, the success rate was almost eight percent higher in moderate sleepers.

To reach the optimal amount of sleep during your IVF cycles, Verywell Family suggests trying a few basic sleep techniques. Start by decompressing an hour before you go to bed, and avoid screens including your phone. A warm bath or listening to soothing music can help calm an active mind. Try to stick to a regular sleep and wake time every night including weekends as a part of sleep training. Finally, lower your indoor lights or use a dimmer; that allows melatonin to set in and will help you fall asleep after.