How Sleep is Affecting Your Fertility (And What You Can Do About It) | Sleep Clinic Services

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How Sleep is Affecting Your Fertility (And What You Can Do About It)

sleep affects male fertility

The results are in… not getting enough sleep can affect your sperm count. A recent study published in Medical Science Monitor revealed that sleep problems are associated with poor male fertility.

The study investigated the effects of sleep duration and bedtime on 981 healthy men aged 18-50 years. The men were divided randomly into groups based on 3 consistent bedtimes and were monitored for 3 months. The sperm count and survival rate were analysed and results show that short and long sleep duration and later bedtime can reduce sperm count, survival, and motility.

Not only that but a more recent study found that sleep duration may affect the integrity of sperm DNA. The findings, published in the Journal of Sleep Research, reveal a link between sleep duration and a measure of chromosomal health in sperm.

In the study of 796 male volunteers from colleges in Chongqing (China) from 2013 to 2015, volunteers with 6.5 hours or less sleep a day had 30% proportion of sperm with abnormal chromatin compared with volunteers with 7 to 7.5 hours sleep a day. Chromatin is a complex of DNA and protein that forms chromosomes. The study also found that those who had over 9 hours sleep a day had 41% of sperm with abnormal chromatin.

The good news though, is that you can do something about your sleep health and if recent research is anything to go by, increase your fertility. Discovering the underlying cause of sleep problems is the first step.

Causes of sleep deprivation are:how sleep affects male fertility

  • Shift-work or work-related stress,

  • Stress and anxiety,

  • Depression,

  • Hormone imbalance,

  • Illness,

  • Insomnia, or

  • Sleep Disordered Breathing - If you have moderate or severe sleep apnea you could be waking up hundreds of times every night without knowing it. Our questionnaire will help you identify if this is the case.


Identifying the underlying problem may require a visit to your local GP. Once you know the reason for your difficulty sleeping it’s time to take action. Check out our tips to help improve your sleep or visit your doctor for advice.



  • Mei-Mei Liu, Li Liu, Liang Chen, Xiao-Jing Yin, Hui Liu, Yan-Hua Zhang, Pei-Ling Li, Shan Wang, Xiao-Xiao Li, Cai-Hong Yu, Sleep Deprivation and Late Bedtime Impair Sperm Health Through Increasing Antisperm Antibody Production: A Prospective Study of 981 Healthy Men, Medical Science Monitor, 16 April 2017.
  • Xiaogang Wang, Qing Chen, Peng Zou, Taixiu Liu, Min Mo, Huan Yang, Niya Zhou, Lei Sun, Hongqiang Chen, Xi Ling, Kaige Peng, Lin Ao, Huifang Yang, Jia Cao, Zhihong Cui, Sleep duration is associated with sperm chromatin integrity among young men in Chongqing, China. Journal of Sleep Research, 2017.