Even under the best of circumstances, nobody likes to lose an hour of sleep. Particularly if you’re undergoing IVF, you want all the stress-free sleep you can get! The question is, can losing an hour impact your chances of getting pregnant?
In 2013, Fertility and Sterility found that the quantity and quality of sleep affects not only your health and mood, but also your hormones and fertility. Therefore, moderate sleep, about 7 to 8 hours, is recommended to the patients undergoing IVF cycles to help improve IVF outcomes.
So, does this mean springing ahead will completely mess with your IVF cycle? Not necessarily. However, if you’re having trouble sleeping (and with the stress of infertility, no one could blame you if you were!), you might want to find ways to get some shut-eye no matter what time of the year it is.
Here are 8 suggestions for sleeping your way to a more fertile you:
1. Avoid napping. While cats make it look heavenly, napping can cut into your sleep schedule at night. Skip the nap and save your sleeping for later.
2. Stick to a sleep schedule. Depending on your work/life schedule, this may be easier said than done but ideally, set a time to wind down, get in bed, shut off the iPhone (yes, put down the phone the electronics!) and sing yourself a lullaby. Waking up the same time every day will help too (even on weekends)!
3. Eliminate light! Whether it’s a light outside, a too bright digital clock (do people still have those???) or any electronic light distracting you - get rid of it. Your room should be as dark as possible to let your body know, “No really… it’s sleep time. Get some zzzz’s!”
4. Evaluate your bed, pillow, and sheets. You’re going through fertility treatment so things are uncomfortable enough. If you want to treat yourself to a new pillow, a higher thread count of sheets and a new mattress cover, no one will judge you!
5. Avoid caffeine or exercise near bedtime. While this may seem obvious, some may need a reminder! It’s also worth mentioning that when you’re undergoing any fertility treatment, caffeine should be in moderation and make sure to speak to your fertility doctor about exercising during any hormone stimulation. Any which way, doing either before you hit the hay won’t help.
6. Make your bed a “sleep and sex” only zone. If you’re doing any other activities in your bed (watching television, working, etc.), in a sense, you’ll be sending your body mixed signals. Your body should be trained to know that when it gets into bed, it’s about rest and relaxation and nothing else.
7. Keep the bedroom a cool temperature. A bedroom that’s too hot is not comfortable and can mess with your sleep. Keep things cool to keep you sleeping! A temperature around the mid-sixties is recommended. Don’t make it too cold though! We don’t want you freezing your eggs while you sleep!
8. RELAX! Yes, the dreaded “relax”. Whatever helps you unwind at night – reading, guided meditation, a shower, deep breathing, a cup of tea, etc. Whatever is doctor approved while cycling and unwinds you at the end of the day to get you “sleep ready” for 7 to 8 hours is a good thing!
Daylight Savings isn't the only thing that can disrupt your sleep schedule. Work, travel, stress, family... managing all of these will be an important part of your fertility treatments. And don't forget, we are always here to support you on along the way. Contact us today!