Seven hours' sleep improves conception chances

Caroline Cassidy

A good night's sleep can help you to wake up bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready for the day ahead, not to mention help to protect you against chronic diseases such as heart disease. And according to new research, plenty of shuteye can even significantly improve your chances of conceiving.

Seven hours sleep can improve conception chances
Seven hours sleep can improve conception chances

Pic: Corbis

In a study of 656 women, each of whom was undergoing IVF treatment, those who slept for seven or eight hours a night had a 53 per cent chance of getting pregnant. For women who slept nine hours or more that figure fell to 43 per cent, while those who managed on less than six hours had a 46 per cent chance of pregnancy success.

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The results mean that sleeping for between seven and eight hours each night could increase your chances of becoming pregnant by up to 25 per cent.

And though the research only concerned women having IVF treatment, academics believe all those trying for a baby would benefit from a sound seven hours, as the amount of sleep we have changes the levels of hormones that affect fertility.

Dr Daniel Park from Inje University in South Korea, who presented his findings at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, said: "Most commonly people think that sleep can only have a good impact on fertility but my study showed excessive amounts - more than eight hours - can be bad.
"Heavy sleepers may have irregular lifestyles, they get up late, miss breakfast, go to bed late, and this all affects their fertility."

Dr Park now plans to investigate whether going to bed and getting up at the same time also impacts conception success.

What do you think? Can too much sleep really affect your chances of becoming pregnant? Leave your comments below...