Fertility & Preconception

How Sleep Duration Affects Sperm Quality

by Nikki Warren on May 04, 2022

Sperm quality

It is well known that lifestyle factors such as smoking, poor diet and drug use affect sperm quality. What isn't widely known is how sleep habits can affect sperm health.

However, this study set out to investigate exactly how the duration of sleep and sleep quality affects sperm health. In this study, 1487 men aged from 22 to 45 years were recruited. An initial sperm assessment was performed to check the men for eligibility for the study. The participants were required to have normal sperm health prior to the study and meet the following criteria:

  • Sperm count of more than 60 million per ml
  • Progressive motility higher than 60%
  • Normal morphology higher than 30%

 These are the numbers I aim for when treating a couple for infertility. They are certainly not what the labs consider "normal" these days.

The study found that men who slept between 7.5 to 8 hours at night had no change in sperm quality. Men that slept for less than 7.5 hours or more than 8 hours, had lower progressive sperm motility. Sperm motility is how fast it swims and if it's swimming in the right direction. Napping during the day and poor sleep quality was also associated with a decline in sperm health.

This shows us just how important sleep quality is for optimal sperm health and male fertility. Male fertility plays a significant role in healthy conception alongside female fertility. Optimising male fertility during the preconception period through healthy dietary and lifestyle changes is essential to optimising the chances of conception.

Ref: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.105368

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