- How Does Lack of Sleep Affect Fertility?
- The Effects of Sleep on Athletic Performance
- Attention Parents: Sleep Makes Your Child Grow Taller
How Does Lack of Sleep Affect Fertility?
Sleep plays an important role in our health, quality of life and even fertility. Getting enough sleep is one simple way to enhance fertility. However, this technique is simple yet often left unnoticed.
If you take a closer look at the chemistry of sleep, you will see that chronic sleep deprivation or lack of sleep can contribute to infertility.
So if you have tried to do everything right and have exhausted all means and still have problems conceiving, your sleep habits may be the culprit.
Sleep or shut-eye helps restore to health and revitalize the brain and other vital organ systems including our reproductive system.
Hormonal balance suffers, so does our mood, immunity and even our relationship with our partner. In fact, lack of sleep and sleep loss may even lead to several fertility-hampering factors.
In a poll conducted by researchers, 50% of the women with jobs that deprive them of sleep (like flight attendants, nurses, call center agents working night shifts or “infertility shifts”) have reported irregular menstrual cycle.
Interruption of Leptin Production
Sleep deprivation affects the hormones in the body, one of which is the leptin hormone.
Leptin is the hormone that is primarily responsible for ovulation in women, and according to studies, adequate sleep is needed for proper leptin production.
Interruption in leptin production leads to the disruption of the menstrual cycle which will eventually affect fertility.
Several studies have been conducted and has proven that sleep-deprived people gain weight and it has also been shown that infertility and gaining weight is somewhat inked, especially in those with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
A body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher is linked to difficulty getting pregnant. A normal BMI lies between 18.5 and 24.9.
In 2007, a study that dealt with more than 3,000 couples who were having trouble conceiving, found out that when a woman had a BMI of 35 or higher she was 26 percent less likely to conceive than a normal-weight woman.
It is a universal fact that not getting maximum hours of sleep increases the release of the stress hormone.
When we suffer from stress, our judgment, intelligence, bodily coordination are at risk and yes, even fertility.
Stress has been identified as the number one underlying cause of difficulty in conceiving. It doesn’t matter where the stress comes from — work, money worries, personal problems, or anxiety about getting pregnant; the anxiety, sadness, and disappointment; all these can lead to restless nights. And when stress ruins your sleep, your hormones go haywire.
On the other hand, a person is not very prone to perform at his best when he lacks sleep. When a person is depressed, the tendency is to take less care of your body and to eat stuff like junk foods. It is known that a good diet combined with regular exercise increase your chances of fertility as well.
The extent of sleep deprivation in compromising fertility isn’t that clear, yet research stresses out that excess weight, chronic stress, and irregular menstrual cycle, affect the chances of a woman to get pregnant. These factors that affect fertility is traced down to lack of sleep.
Declining Levels of Testosterone and Sperm Count
It is a universal truth that as men age, their testosterone level also decreases. But a new study conducted by scientists at the University of Chicago, suggests that younger men who usually cheat on sleep maybe equally at risk with men who are in their 40’s. It may temporarily lower sperm count and could lead to infertility.
Additionally, hormones coming from the brain can be affected by lack of sleep which in turn could affect the testis and male organs.
There is strong proof to suggest that reproductive hormonal secretion is controlled by both sleep and circadian rhythms (a roughly 24-hour cyclical behaviour of the human body). Once the circadian rhythm is disrupted, everything else could run amok.
Apparently, many couples have found it hard to be reproductive because of their lifestyle, specifically in getting enough sleep. So if you want to conceive, you better get enough time to sleep.
Tips for Getting More Sleep
- Go to bed early and be consistent with your routine.
- Don’t eat or drink caffeine-containing foods and drinks because it may keep you up the entire night.
- Keep your bedroom cool.
- Exercise and you will feel the urge of hitting the sack early because of tiredness.
The Effects of Sleep on Athletic Performance
There are many different factors that could determine how successful an athlete could be, such as strength training, practice and diet.
However, one frequently overlooked underlying factor that may play a huge role in the performance of an athlete is the amount and quality of sleep he or she gets every single night.
According to the Better Sleep Council, almost 70 percent of Americans are not able to get the right amount of sleep they need to physically perform at their highest level. This explains why athletic organizations and teams have become so conscious of their athletes’ sleeping habits.
If you are an athlete and your goal is to become more powerful and physically stronger, you definitely need to pay attention to increasing your muscle mass.
One of the best ways to achieve this is by lifting weights. But do you know that sleep also has something to do with the development of your muscles?
The body makes active muscle tissues while your body is in the state of rest and recovery, particularly when you are at the deepest levels of sleep.
According to studies, the training results of athletes are greatly impeded when they fail to get between 6 and 8 hours of sleep every night.
Another thing that can affect the development of muscle mass is the body’s production of human growth hormone. These hormones are secreted heavily during sleep, so being sleep deprived means less production of human growth hormone (HGH).
In almost all sports, an athlete or player’s reaction time is crucial, and could even spell the difference between winning and losing.
Several studies have been conducted on the impact of sleep or sleep deprivation on a person or athlete’s reaction time. It was discovered that a person’s reaction time declines because of lack of sleep.
The body needs energy to be able to perform at its best. Intense competition destroys muscle tissues and also causes the depletion of glycogen, which is the stored kind of glucose. This glucose is the primary source of fuel that keeps the muscles working.
When the body is deprived of sleep, there is an increase in the production of cortisol, which is a hormone related to stress. This hormone can also inhibit the ability of the body to store glycogen.
Thus, when an athlete does not have enough sleep, his or her muscles become more likely to wear down immediately during a game or competition.
Attention Parents: Sleep Makes Your Child Grow Taller
When parents are asked what they want their child to be, parents will normally dream of a great career for their children and answer, “an NBA superstar player, a flight attendant in an international airline or perhaps join military forces.”
These dream careers will pop like balloons when your child doesn’t reach a certain height.
For parents who want their children to grow taller, as many of us do, then the most important thing is let your children get enough sleep.
In order to grow taller, the body needs to get a lot of growth hormone. This hormone, when synthesised naturally by the body, encourages a range of anabolic activities in the body (anabolic meaning the ‘building’ of various tissues such as muscle, skin, tendon and bone).
Unquestionably, that results in a better muscle tone, more rapid healing of wounds and if you are still growing – an impressive increase in height.
Here are some facts related to growth hormones affecting increased height among children:
- The deeper sleep children get, the more they will grow up.
- During deep sleep, sleep hormone increases which aids increase in height that will continue until the age where growth plates grow, which can be anywhere between the ages of 19-27.
- When children are getting enough growth hormones as their growth plates are essentially open, they will continue to grow regardless of other factors. This is why it is very necessary for parents to remember that it is important for growing children and youths to get a lot of sleep in order to make sure they are not only keeping their bodies in good repair, but that they are continuing to grow into healthy adults.
- Another interesting fact that is known to increase the amount of growth hormone in your body is to take a warm shower or bath which will not only increase growth hormone production but will also increase melatonin which will make you sleep more deeply and heavily. Effectively combining these elements, children can greatly increase the amount of growth hormone in their bodies. As such then the best method to increase growth hormone remains sleep, aided by some exercise and a warm shower.
Some, who are desperate about their children’s poor height, will go further and will let their children take stuff that will make their children grow taller which are not generally proven effective. So it is still best to stick to natural ways of increasing height.
Sleeping is fun! It is good for you, parents, specially your children. Plus, it is completely natural. Don’t let yourself and your children be frustrated about height. Note that when one is fully grown and his /her growth plate has closed over, then he/she will find that sleep, nor anything else, will increase his/her height.
So, keep up and don’t let your children be left behind in terms of height! Let your children get deeper sleep in order for them to grow taller.