Increase your fertility with your eyes closed - the importance of sleep for infertilityFeb 22, 2021
One of my all time favourite quotes is, YOU CAN’T BE BRAVE WHEN YOU’RE TIRED.
And when you’re struggling to fall pregnant or maintain a pregnancy, you need a level of bravery on par with Captain America.
Sleep is one of THE most important things to ensure we’re healthy and happy. It should be up there with a balanced diet and exercise, however sleep is something that is often overlooked.
Did you know that poor sleep is linked to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression?
Hands up who feels anxious and a little low right now? If you're struggling with infertility, I know your hand is up a lot more than it's down.
When we are exhausted, everything in life seems more difficult. And when you’re already struggling with infertility and the ups and downs surrounding it, you really don’t need to add anything else on top.
Restorative sleep can result in improved mood, enhanced physical and emotional resilience and better hormonal function. Everything works better with restorative sleep, even your reproductive system!!!
I bet you didn't know you could increase your chances of falling pregnant by sleeping, did you?
So how do you know if you’re getting enough sleep?
First of all, you should be averaging 7 - 9 hours sleep per night.
Secondly, are you waking up feeling tired or refreshed? It is not normal to wake up tired (yes, it may be common, but that does not make it normal). So if you’ve been telling yourself that you’re just not a morning person, that’s not entirely correct. It means that perhaps your sleep isn’t “restorative”.
You see, even if you’re getting your daily quota, and going to bed at a reasonable hour, the type of sleep we have can be restless, so you’re not getting the full benefit. Hence, waking up feeling tired.
There are a couple of reasons why you may not be getting your quota of restorative sleep –
- Firstly, if you’re taking drugs and hormones, it may be messing with your sleep. Your body can be confused as to what the hell is happening at the best of times, without a cocktail of drugs flowing through your system. So make sure you're drinking plenty of water.
- As well as that, you have a LOT on your mind that could be contributing to a restless nights sleep. I remember when we were deep into our fertility journey, there were nights I tossed and turned. As soon as my head hit the pillow the thoughts would come up. The voices in my head would start, and the fears would hit me one after another. It was because I was running away from my thoughts and emotions all day. I was distracting and throwing myself into work during the day, so at night time, my thoughts would finally have an opportunity to get my attention. And they did – in the form of a restless nights sleep.
- Alcohol – I don’t know about you, but when I have a few wines, I lull to sleep SO easily. But don’t let that fool you, even though it can make you go to sleep quicker, alcohol can disrupt your sleep cycle, as it disrupts REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
- Caffeine – any caffeine past 12pm can have an impact on your body's ability to shut down for the night.
- If your bed is uncomfortable, it may be preventing you from getting comfortable, leading you to toss and turn at night.
So what are some things you can do to increase your chances of getting a good nights sleep, so you can show up brave and ready to fight infertility’s ass the next day?
- Set a regular bed-time each night – preferably before 10pm, to ensure your PNS (parasympathetic nervous system – or rest and digest) has sufficient time to do it’s thing.
- Set a night-time routine – something you do each night, that tells your body that it’s time to shut down.
- Try to get up at the same time every morning. And DO NOT hit the snooze button. When you hit the snooze button, and go back to sleep, it forces your brain to go back into a sleep cycle – so you wake up even groggier. You’re also directly impacting your productivity for the next 4 hours. Watch this video by Mel Robbins on why hitting snooze ruins your brain. https://youtu.be/iwollxDAm0Y
- If you suffer from an overactive mind as soon as your head hits the pillow, try journaling before bed. It’s a great way of giving your mind the attention it deserves, and getting rid of those thoughts before you put your head on your pillow.
- Slow down during the day to listen to your mind and body, so it doesn’t wake up when you want to shut down.
- A nice warm cup of chamomile tea can work wonders.
- Magnesium – try having a bath with Epsom salts.
- Lavender - 3-4 drops on your pillow or in the bath.
- Switch off all electronic devices 1 hour prior to bedtime.
- Eliminate caffeine intake past 12pm, and limit alcohol.
- Meditate or read a book before going to sleep.
- Keep your bedroom ventilated with a window open if possible to ensure fresh air flow.
Create a beautiful night-time ritual that works for you, and in no-time you’ll be waking up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.
And once you’ve mastered a good night’s sleep, you can get started with your morning routine. Click HERE to read my blog on the importance of a morning routine and some tips on how to create one that will have you bouncing out of bed each morning.
Now, go and get some much needed sleep.
Would you like to know more about how you can work with me, so you can get back control of your life and start moving forward? My 1:1 coaching program is packed with information, tools and support. Find out how you can get on the wait list now.
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