As a woman who is trying to get pregnant, I know all about what I can do to boost my fertility: exercise, eat right, take prenatal vitamins, cut down on alcohol and caffeine consumption. But I haven't focused too much on what my husband should be doing to maximize our chances of getting pregnant. And now, a new study finds that when men get between seven and eight hours of sleep a night, they actually have a better chance of conceiving with their partners!
Lauren Wise, from the Boston University School of Public Health, looked at 790 couples and found that when the man got less than six hours or more than nine hours of sleep per night, his chances of successful conception decreased by almost half. I found it especially interesting that too much sleep was found to be detrimental to male fertility. You mean there's such a thing as sleeping too much?!? This is news to us, as parents-of-three.
Wise also says when men had more trouble sleeping, they were less likely to get their partners pregnant, most likely due to hormonal reasons. "It is possible that poor sleep duration could contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle, decreased libido, a decrease in sex, but we tried to control for all those factors," she adds.
In our case, my husband is lucky to get five hours of sleep per night, which obviously troubles me in light of this report, which was presented this week at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's yearly meeting. And he probably drinks too much coffee as a result. Hmm. What other unhealthy habits does he have...?
The bottom line is that if you want to get pregnant, it seems focusing on both partners' health is key. Um, if you need us after 10:00 p.m., we'll be in bed from now on.
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.