Trying to get pregnant is an exciting time, but let's be honest—it can be pretty stressful too. We find ourselves continually questioning or critiquing our choices. Is it okay to have a drink? Should we have sex every day or every other day? Should I ask my sperm donor to switch to boxers?
While all this pondering may keep you up at night, the latest findings may just inspire you to try to get some sleep.
According to a study shared at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference, it turns out that men who go to sleep before 10:30 pm have sperm that's four times as healthy as men who go to sleep after 11:30 pm.
They also found that men who got eight hours of sleep had healthier sperm than men who got seven or fewer hours of sleep, irrespective of what time they got into bed.
But it's nice to be reminded that men's lifestyles have a significant impact on fertility too—so often women feel that they have to bear the load, and that's simply not the case.
(Did you know that fertility issues are split evenly between men and women? Thirty percent of problems arise from the female, 30% from the male (partner or sperm donor), and 30% are from both).
Experts believe that just like in women, a decrease in sleep for men leads to increased stress, which can harm sperm.
I also wonder if we can extrapolate that people who routinely go to sleep before 10:30 pm have healthier lifestyles in general (said as someone who routinely does NOT go to bed before 10:30 pm, ahem).
If you have baby making on the brain, a few other lifestyle tips to consider for your partner or sperm donor include:
- Switch from briefs to boxers. Testicles that get more air produce healthier sperm.
- Put down the weed. Marijuana negatively impacts sperm's ability to swim, and sperm making in general.
- Cut back on caffeine. Caffeine may damage sperm's DNA, decreasing its ability to result in a pregnancy.
- And alcohol too. Alcohol can slow sperm's maturation, making it less effective and healthy.
- Watch your pockets. Experts believe that keeping a cellphone in your pocket, and therefore near your testicles, can harm sperm.
- Beware the bike seat. Bike seats put a lot of pressure on testicles, which can over time decrease their ability to produce healthy sperm.
And as we now know, get into bed early. Insert "rest while you can before you have the baby" joke here .