Correction: Sleep-deprivation linked to infertility. (I had a feeling that would get your attention.) Did you ever consider that? How could you with all the other things to worry about:
You've cut down on alcohol, caffeine, and even processed food.
You've scheduled more time to relax and tried to reduce the stress in your life.
You've started a consistent exercise routine and detoxified your house.
You've charted your monthly cycle, bought ovulation kits, and still...nothing.
But you've overlooked one very important element: sleep, which you don't get enough of.
The word "infertility" can quickly generate a response, especially among the 10 percent (more than 6 million) of women struggling with it. The topic routinely graces the covers of magazines and academic health reports. Lately, the talk about toxins in our food, water, and air have been blamed for increasing the likelihood of infertility. But what if it's much simpler than that? What if infertility can be partly blamed on how many hours of sleep you get a night. OR hours you don't get?
A new report puts the spotlight on exactly this issue. The highlights:
• Missing your required number of sleep hours a night can impact your ability to conceive.
• The average woman (30 to 60 years old) gets only 6 hours 41 minutes of sleep during the work week, according to the National Sleep Foundation, when she really needs 7 to 9 hours.
• Sleep has a powerful influence on the body's hormonal system, which controls a woman's cycle and regulates ovulation.
• Too little sleep leads to low leptin levels, the hormone responsible for appetite and which can impact ovulation.
• Insomniacs have a significantly higher level of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenocorticotropic, both of which can suppress a healthy fertility cycle.