New Study Says Men Who Don't Get Enough Sleep Have Less Healthy Sperm

Just another reason to tuck yourself in early.

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If you're looking to have a baby, you might want to hit the hay a little earlier than usual, according to new research. At the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology Conference in Vienna, Austria, researchers form Aarhus University in The Netherlands revealed just how much sleep affects a man's sperm count.

For their study, the researchers tracked the sleep patterns and analyzed the sperm counts of 104 men with an average age of 34 over two years. They found that men who went to bed before 10:30 p.m. were almost four times more likely to have good quality sperm than those who stayed up past 11:30 p.m. Men who slept for more than eight hours a night or fewer than six also had less healthy sperm, which supports previous research that the perfect night's sleep is six to eight hours.

It's believed that the link between sleep and male fertility is largely related to stress. "If you don't get enough sleep, that has an impact on the metabolism, which will have a negative effect on sperm quality," Dr. Christopher Barratt, a professor of reproductive medicine at the University of Dundee in Scotland, told The Telegraph. "It is pretty basic advice but a lack of sleep is closely tied to feeling stressed and stressed men are also less likely to have sex once a day, as we recommend when trying for a baby."

The findings are also interesting in light of an increasing amount of research on how modern technology, specifically Netflix, is killing people's sex life. A 2018 study found that many couples were streaming movies or shows on separate devices between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.—a time that used to be reserved for either sex or sleep. And another recent study found that one in four people would rather watch Netflix than have sex.

So, if you're trying to get pregnant, simply turning off all electronic devices and curling up together in bed around 10 p.m. might just be the key to your success. For more on this, check out This Is the One Thing You Should Never Do Before Bed.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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