tion Stories

Neither too much, nor too little: how sleeping patterns may affect your fertility

Sleeping less than 7 hours a night is associated with a reduced number of eggs when having IVF treatment, a recent study shows. While a short time of night sleep may seem to have a negative impact on fertility, the same holds, it appears, for sleeping more than 9-10 hours a night (1).

Reseachers have looked at the effect that sleeping patterns may have on fertility, and especially, in women having treatment with IVF. They used the model of IVF treatment to study the number of mature eggs, the fertilization rate and number of embryos produced following IVF, as well the chance of getting pregnant at the end. It was suggested that both sleeping too little or too much during the night was linked to a reduced number of eggs and embryos in the IVF lab, whereas, the  chance of pregnancy was reduced in long-sleepers. Moreover, poor quality sleep, as reported by women themselves when interviewed, was associated to worse results during IVF treatment.

Disturbed sleep appears to be a common occurrence in many people worldwide. From 24-hour city-lifestyles and electric sighting to high stress level and the extraordinary conditions that the pandemic has caused, good quality sleep is steadily becoming a precious good, a frequently elusive wellness commodity. Quite a few tech companies are taking an active interest on promoting applications about sleep, while awareness is increasing steadily on the importance a good night’s sleep is having in overall health.

Fertility is affected by a myriad of different things, lifestyle being an emerging issue which attracts increasing attention in infertility research. Taking up regular exercise, losing that extra few pounds and quitting smoking have all been well reported to improve the chance of getting pregnant and having a normal course during pregnancy. Now, according to latest research, it appears that having a regular sleep, neither too much, nor too little, can be an extra little help while trying for a pregnancy.


  1. Associations of sleep characteristics with outcomes of IVF/ICSI treatment: a prospective cohort study. Hum Reprod 2022 Mar 8;deac040. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deac040

©2021, Nicholas Christoforidis, Fertility Matters
Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.