In the 1960’s, the average American reported getting eight to nine hours of sleep every night.  That average has dropped to only 6.8 hours.  A recent Gallup Poll estimated that almost 40 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough of this essential rest.  Fertility is dependent on proper hormonal function and proper hormonal function is extremely dependent on quality, restorative sleep.  It’s the time when your body heals and regenerates.  It’s important for every one of us!  Develop positive sleep strategies before pregnancy.  

The master endocrine gland, the pituitary, is extremely sensitive to sleep loss. The pineal gland is a tiny hormone-secreting gland positioned in the center of the brain.  Light-sensitive, it serves as the biological clock, regulating sleep and wakefulness with hormones like cortisol and melatonin.  Messages from the pineal gland to the pituitary gland also stimulate the release of sex hormones.  The rising and setting of the sun each day have a tremendous influence on these processes.  

When sleeping patterns are disrupted, pineal activity is thrown off, which can disrupt the menstrual cycle and sperm production. Below are some great START SOMEWHERE strategies to get and keep your body in balance:

  • Limit caffeine and only drink until noon, at the latest.  
  • Give yourself a break from technology at least two hours prior to the time you would like to fall asleep.  This includes anything with an on/off button like electronic books, smart phones, television, and computers.
  • Create a restful, relaxing bedroom environment.
  • Avoid taking work or difficult discussions into your bedroom.  Reserve this space for only sleep and lovemaking.
  • Keep your bedroom “pitch black.”  Place digital clocks out of view and  choose blackout shades or wear blinders.
  • Avoid alcohol within four hours of your desired sleep time.  If you are thinking of getting pregnant, it is a good idea to avoid all alcohol.
  • Establish a bedtime “wind-down” routine with journaling, prayer, meditation, or reading a real book.  Be intentional about getting the day’s worries out of your mind.
  • Eat dinner at least three hours prior to retiring and keep it light.  Avoid eating fruit with dinner.
  • Savor a hot shower or tub bath about an hour before your desired bedtime to relax your muscles.  Put a handful of Epsom Salts into your bathwater for added relaxation.
  • Practice relaxation breathing.  Inhale slowly for four seconds.  Hold your breath for four seconds.  Exhale for eight seconds.  Repeat slowly five to six times.  This triggers your relaxation (parasympathetic) response.  With practice, you can lengthen the time intervals.  Basically, inhale – hold – and then exhale for twice the amount of time that you inhaled.  
  • Keep your bedroom on the cool side.

High levels of stress hormones are not good for you and they can rise when you are short on sleep.  Correcting sleep difficulties and try to develop positive sleep strategies before pregnancy to boost your fertility and to increase the health of your baby.  START SOMEWHERE today with just one simple strategy.  You can do it.

Develop Positive Sleep Strategies Before Pregnancy

Develop Positive Sleep Strategies Before Pregnancy