All the more reason to get some shut-eye
There’s all sorts of reasons you should be getting at least seven hours of sleep a night, but if you aren’t convinced by the promise of decreased stress, boosted energy and all-round better health, a new study might just provide the incentive you need to get some much-needed shut-eye.
Recent research has shown that a lack of sleep can directly impact the quality of a man’s sperm which – if you’re trying to conceive or are even contemplating having children at some point in your life – is a pretty big deal. And, before you ask, no – it can’t just be fixed by having a massive lie in. Here’s what we know…
Researchers from the Third Military Medical University in China analysed semen samples from 796 men over the course of two years (2013-2015). They also assessed each participant’s quality of sleep and sleep duration using a questionnaire.
It was found that sleeping for less than six and a half hours per night damages the stability of sperm – lowering its quality by around 30%. This reduces the chances of impregnating a partner – and is likely down to the ways in which lack of sleep can prevent the proper release of testosterone.
However, the same effect was also perceived when the volunteers slept too much. Indeed, those who slept for more than nine hours a night faced even worse quality sperm than those who under-slept – a reduction of about 40%. Commenting on the findings, co-author Dr Jia Cao said:
“This is new information after our pervious finding that sleep duration has an inverse U-shaped association with semen volume and total sperm count. In the previous study, we found that these two semen parameters were highest when sleep is 7.0 to 7.5 hours per day, and either longer or shorter sleep was associated with the decrease of the two semen parameters.”
So, all in all, if you’re keen to procreate at some point in the future, make sure you’re catching the right amount of Zzzs.
The research was published in the Journal of Sleep Research.