Sleep problems linked to female infertility

Women with sleep disorders other than sleep apnea may be more than three times as likely to experience infertility as those who do not have trouble sleeping, a recent study suggests.

When insomnia was to blame for women's sleeping difficulties, they were more than four times as likely as peers who slept well to experience infertility, the study also found.

Previous research has linked apnea, or disrupted breathing during sleep, with infertility.

But the current study looked only at women with other types of sleep disorders, offering fresh evidence of the need for women to pay close attention to healthy habits that can help with sleep if they are trying to conceive, said lead study author I-Duo Wang.

"Women of child-bearing age should sleep earlier, avoid night shift work or mobile phone use before sleep," Dr Wang said.

"Moreover, a healthy diet, regular exercise and a good lifestyle are important to prevent infertility."

Women with sleep disorders were also more likely to have a variety of chronic health problems, including high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, lung disorders and kidney issues.

They were also more likely to have irregular menstrual cycles, thyroid issues, depression and anxiety.

The results of the study suggest that women can add infertility as a reason to get help when they cannot fall or stay asleep.

Researcher Jennifer Felder, who was not involved in the study, said: "Cognitive behaviour therapy is recommended as the first line of treatment approach for insomnia, which was the most prevalent sleep disorder in this sample." - REUTERS