Top Ways to Improve Your Sleep for Health and Optimal Fertility

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Good quality sleep is a key part of healthy hormones and optimal health. We know that poor sleep and sleep disturbance is detrimental to a regular menstrual cycle, pregnancy and even menopause symptoms. A man's fertility is also greatly impacted by poor sleep patterns. Studies have shown how men who sleep in a quiet bedroom have a faster time to pregnancy than those who sleep in a noisy bedroom. Sleep influences not only sperm motility and count but can also be associated with the body attacking its own sperm (high levels of anti sperm antibodies).  

If you are trying to get your 8 hours of sleep each night and going to bed at a reasonable hour but are still having troubles what can you do? Here are many favourite ways to help improve the quality of sleep we all need.
1 - Don't Go To The Light
We know light stimulates the brain to stay awake by inhibiting the release of Melatonin. This could be natural light from a window or the light from our phones. Melatonin is naturally released in the evening which signals our bodies to slow down in preparation to relax and fall asleep. I suggest to all my patients to limit or eliminate all screen time before bed. The worst is social media and interactive screens and should not be used for at least an hour (more is better before going to bed). If you are using your phone or computer try to eliminate the Blue Light as this specific light inhibits the release of the sleep hormone Melatonin. If you are in a bright bedroom (from street lights or living in an area where there is natural light late at night or early in the morning) using blackout curtains can also be greatly effective.  
2 - Supplement Your Sleep 
One of my favourite supplements to support a good night's sleep is Magnesium. Magnesium supports our bodies GABA receptors which help support the sleep system. There are several different forms of magnesium and each can be used effectively. Talk with your Acupuncturist or Naturopath to find out which is best for you.  
3 - Quiet Your Brain
Racing thoughts about your day or what you need to do tomorrow can completely sabotage your sleep. To help quiet your mind, meditation or guided imagery before bed can be very helpful. I find a minimum of 5 minutes is needed but many patients find 5-20 minutes very effective. If meditation is not working for you a small amount of low-intensity movement can also work. 15 minutes of yoga for sleep or yoga for relaxation can be just as effective.  
4 - Other Sleep Support Techniques
Some other common sleep boosters are weighted blankets, caffeine elimination, warm bath/showers in the evenings and Acupuncture. There are dozens if not more ways to help improve your sleep. If you are having trouble getting the sleep you need to improve your overall health or fertility see a specialist to help.  
To learn more about our approach to sleep quality, health and our treatments for fertility improvement please set up a 15-minute discovery call with one of our practitioners here
Best of Health
Dr. Ryan Funk
Doctor of Chinese Medicine
Fellow of the ABORM
a poor sleep negatively impacts fertility for both men and women