Women trying to get pregnant might want to reconsider hitting the snooze button in the morning, as new research suggests getting more than nine hours of sleep a night can drastically reduce their chances of conceiving.
"Most commonly people think that sleep can only have a good impact on fertility but my study showed excessive amounts – more than eight hours – can be bad," says lead author Dr. Daniel Park of Inje University in South Korea, as reported by the Daily Mail.
In a study presented to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Boston, researchers discovered that women with fertility problems who slept for nine hours or more a night were 25 per cent less likely to get pregnant than women who slept between seven and eight hours a night.
But simply sleeping less isn't the solution. According to their research, women looking to start a family should get between seven and eight hours of sleep a night -- any less and the chances of conceiving go down by 15 per cent.
Park and his team specifically looked at 656 women having in-vitro fertilization treatments, but he believes their findings apply to all women trying to have a baby. He says that behaviour associated with sleeping in late might have something to do with their decreased likelihood of conceiving.
"Heavy sleepers may have irregular lifestyles, they get up late, miss breakfast, go to bed late and this all affects their fertility," he says.
While Park doesn't have conclusive evidence to explain how sleep affects fertility, other experts are pointing to the connection between sleep and hormones.
Dr. Hyan Shim, a fertility doctor in South Korea, says that too much sleep raises prolactin levels in women, which is a hormone known to negatively affect fertility. Conversely, too little sleep raises stress hormones, which can also lower a woman's chance of conceiving.
Park's next step in fertility research is to determine whether going to bed and waking up at the same time each day plays a role in increasing fertility.
Do you think sleeping late actually decreases your chances of conceiving, or is it more likely a symptom of an unhealthy lifestyle, which affects fertility? Tell us in the comments below.
Watch the video below to find out why young women are suddenly in a rush to freeze their eggs.