Dr RaghuveerKarne, Consultant Andrologist, Oasis Fertility
Beware! Your sleep pattern can reduce your chances of fatherhood
Quite shocking right? But that’s the fact. Infertility issues have risen to a large extent in both men and women. There is a significant rise in male infertility in India. Lifestyle factors have become the major reason for a decrease in fertility. With many men taking up night shift jobs, their sleep cycle and circadian rhythm have taken a hit. Sleep plays a major role when it comes to fertility. There has been a terrible shift in the sleep-wake cycle which has also led to obesity, decreased physical activity, and many other disorders.
How sleep affects fertility?
A proper sleep pattern is very essential for one’s good health. But due to globalization and technological advancements, the percentage of men pursuing night shift jobs has increased. Working at odd hours has resulted in an erratic lifestyle such as eating late at night, consuming junk foods, and also leading a sedentary life. But not many know that lack of sleep or irregular sleep pattern can impact men’s fertility potential.
Testosterone hormone is produced during sleep and when there is not enough sleep, there is a decrease in the production of testosterone. Lower levels of this hormone can reduce one’s sex drive. It also affects sperm quality. Sleeping late is also associated with smoking and drinking as well which can negatively affect sperm count. Too much sleep or too little sleep can affect fertility. 7-8 hours of sleep is a must not only for maintaining good health but also to have better fertility.
What can one do to improve fertility?
- If you are planning your fatherhood journey, avoid night shifts
- Try to get into a sleep routine. (sleeping and waking up at the same time daily)
- Reduce your intake of caffeine
- Make exercise part of your daily routine
- Take right care of mental health
- Eat foods rich in antioxidants (berries, pumpkin, cauliflower, nuts)
- Have a check on your weight
- Reduce intake of alcohol
- Get adequate Vitamin D
- Quit smoking
If you have problems in your parenthood journey, consult a male fertility specialist. Lifestyle modifications can go a long way in improving fertility. Many advanced treatment options like micro-TESA, micro varicocelectomy, TESA, PESA etc. are also available that can help you in overcoming infertility and achieving your fatherhood dream.