If you’re trying to have a baby or intend on having one at some point in the future, you probably know that your overall health is linked to your fertility. Did you know that sleep is no exception to this rule? In case you didn’t have enough to worry about while trying to start a family, research shows both men and women who don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis are more likely to experience problems with their fertility. Luckily, fixing your sleep schedule will affect your life in a myriad of positive ways beyond your ability to have children.
The reasons behind the infertility-sleep connection are different for men and women, though in both cases, hormones seem to play an important role. One study showed that both men who sleep too long and those who sleep too little are less likely to impregnate their partners—seven to eight hours seems to be just right for fertility. Of course, as with all studies that try to establish a cause and effect relationship between two events, it’s possible that other factors play the deciding role. For instance, poor sleep can also affect your libido and body weight. That said, the study authors did their best to control for these variables.