Men take note, if you’re burning the candle at both ends, or even getting too much sleep, you could actually be harming your fertility.
Researchers from the Harbin Medical University in China published found a pretty strong link between how much sleep men were getting and how healthy (and abundant) their sperm were.
The study, published in Medical Science Monitor, suggested that men who get less than six hours sleep a night, go to bed later than midnight or have over nine hours sleep every day are more likely to have damaged sperm.
For the experiment, researchers separated 981 male participants who already had healthy sleep routines, into three different groups: one group going to bed between 8 pm and 10 pm, the other between 10 pm and midnight, and the third sometime after midnight.
The subjects in each group were then advised to get either less than six hours of sleep, between seven and eight hours, or nine or more hours.
After examining regular semen samples from the participants, researchers concluded that all nighters weren’t actually great for the survival rates and general presence of sperm.
Basically, the men in the study who went to bed after midnight and the guys who got less than six hours of sleep both saw significantly reduced sperm count, lower survival rates, and decreased sperm motility (how well the sperm moves).
Researchers also analysed the antisperm antibody production (ASA) in semen. These are naturally occurring antibodies, which can cause problems with fertility. And researchers found a much higher presence of ASA in those who didn’t get enough sleep.
But don’t be thinking you can just put things right by sleeping the weekend away, because it turns out those men who got over nine hours of sleep also saw a reduction in their overall sperm health.
Speaking of the findings Professor Geeta Nargund, medical director of Create Fertility, told HuffPost UK that the study seems to throw weight behind other study findings that highlighted a link between sleep disturbances and sperm quality in men.
But she believed further studies were needed to “understand the mechanistic explanations and to assess whether sperm quality improves after interventions to restore sleeping patterns,” she said.
“Where necessary, we need to advise men to improve their lifestyle in order to protect their fertility.”
Upping your guys zeds isn’t the only way to help improve your man’s fertility (and general life!), earlier this year we reported on the new app which allows men to test their sperm count at home without the need of lab equipment.
So if you’re trying to conceive tell your man to quit scrolling Instagram at 2am and get some shut-eye. His fertility could depend on it.
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