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How to Keep Stress From Harming Your Fertility


Updated May 21, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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How Stress, Sleep and Getting Pregnant Are Connected
A woman sleeping.

Sleep is not a luxury but essential for good health and good fertility.

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If your work schedule or lifestyle leads to frequent late nights with early wake-up calls, the constant lack of sleep can affect your body, and hence, affect your fertility.

Researchers have shown that people who get less than 5 hours of sleep are more likely to suffer from obesity, and obesity can lead to problems with fertility.

Working the graveyard shift may also affect your fertility. Research on night-shift workers has shown that working the night shift relatively close to the day of ovulation may increase the rate of miscarriage.

Research has also shown that night shift work can cause irregular menstruation in some women. Irregular menstruation is a risk factor for fertility problems.

Getting adequate sleep at night, and avoiding the night shift if possible, may help improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Ways to improve your sleep habits include...

  • Creating a bedtime routine and sticking with it
  • Avoiding work or checking email just before sleep
  • Avoiding caffeine in the late afternoon and evening
  • Having a cup of herbal tea just before bed
  • Keeping your bedroom work- and TV-free

Can't sleep because you have too many things on your mind? Try writing in a journal before bed, or even simply writing out what you need to do tomorrow.

Get more tips on sleep:

Next, let's look at the effect stress has on weight, and thus on your fertility.

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  1. About.com
  2. Health
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  4. Causes of Infertility and Worrisome Symptoms
  5. How Stress, Sleep and Getting Pregnant Are Connected

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