“Improving sleep will give any fertility treatments the best chance of working”
Research on patients undergoing IVF continues to highlight how poor their quality of sleep is.
Sleep is an important social factor that can impact fertility, and ensuring that patients undergoing IVF get a good amount of restful sleep can help support their IVF cycle.
The right amount of sleep - between seven and eight hours - and quality sleep, can impact fertility, as studies have found links between low quality sleep and lower rates of fertility.
What the Experts Say
We spoke to two of our Resident Experts, Registered Fertility Nurse and Coach, Lauren Haring, and fertility acupuncturist, Justine Hankin, about the importance of sleep.
Justine Hankin describes a lack of sleep as “having unexpected guests arrive at your house, you rush round throwing stray items into the cupboards so on the face of it your house looks tidy – but if your guests looked more closely they would find the mess! This is what our body does, it works with the resources it has, but may have to make cutbacks in certain areas where necessary – which in turn can lead to poor health.”
“[the body] works with the resources it has, but may have to make cutbacks… which can lead to poor health”
This sentiment is echoed by Lauren who impresses the importance of sleep for optimising fertility treatment cycles.
“Sleep is essential. Without enough sleep, the brain can’t function properly. This is the time for the body and mind to reset. Not having enough sleep can have serious effects on both your [patients] physical and mental health.
“Sleep is essential”
The most significant factor that sleep can affect in relation to fertility, is hormone production. The same part of the brain that is responsible for regulating sleep-wake hormones like melatonin and cortisol also regulates reproductive hormones. Sleep deprivation can cause the body to produce more stress hormones, which throw off levels of estrogen, testosterone, and other reproductive hormones.
Health and wellness are often the building blocks of any treatment plan for health issues, improving things like sleep will give any fertility treatments the best chance of working.”
The Reality for IVF Patients
People undergoing fertility treatment are often living in a reality where sleep is not a priority. Especially because the IVF process can be a heightened time of stress, this can impact sleep, and therefore can have consequences for cycle success.
Patients aren’t always aware of the importance of sleep, and so integrating good sleep habits into their treatment can optimise outcomes.
Supporting IVF patients with personalised and evidence-based psychosocial care is one way fertility clinics can optimise their results.
Psychosocial care at Aura
At Aura, we’re in the business of person-centred care for every cycle. Giving people personalised fertility support and evidence-based information can offer them the best chance of success.
The app has expertly-created information for patients on why sleep is so important for their cycle, curated tips for helping your patients improve their sleep, and meditations to bring about restful sleep.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Aura can support your patients throughout every step of their cycle, book an appointment with one of our team who will be happy to talk you through how we can support you to support your patients.
Impact of sleep on female and male reproductive functions: a systematic review
Sleep in women undergoing in vitro fertilization: a pilot study
Association of emotional distress and quality of sleep among women receiving in-vitro fertilization treatment
Sleep, sleep disturbance, and fertility in women
Sleep quality and affecting factors in women undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment