Sleep Disturbances and Lack of Sleep


As promised, each Thursday, we will now offer you a piece of educational, science, or research related information. The purpose of our #ThursdayThoughts post is to share with you fact-based content that can enlighten and assist you on your fertility journey. Enjoy our post! Helping to Create New Beginnings….

Sleep Disturbances and Lack of Sleep

Suffering from sleep disturbances and lack of sleep can impact various reproductive hormones and potentially increase the risk of infertility.  Some people who have trouble with sleep will start melatonin.  It is easily accessible and can be purchased over the counter.  Melatonin is an antioxidant that is present within the follicles of each ovary.  One study showed that women with unexplained infertility were found to have lower follicular concentration of melatonin. 1   Women in this study were given melatonin (3 mg/day or 6 mg/day) to balance the oxidative properties in the ovaries, which in turn may have led to a small increase in pregnancy rate and live birth.  Other studies demonstrated melatonin to have noteworthy antioxidative capabilities which may protect against oxidative stress during fertility treatments. 2  The male reproductive hormone testosterone is released daily during sleep. This hormone is imperative for sperm production.  Men who have trouble with sleep may also consider taking melatonin to promote normal testosterone levels.  However, long term use of melatonin can adversely affect sperm count.  3

Although some studies suggest melatonin may have a positive impact on fertility, others have not demonstrated a significant benefit- melatonin is not universally recommended for patients with infertility at this time.

Prior to starting any new medication, we recommend asking your provider to ensure medication safety before, during, and after treatment.  For more information regarding fertility testing and treatment, please call 808-545-2800 to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, or visit our website at

  1. (Espino J, Macedo M, Lozano G, et al. Impact of Melatonin Supplementation in Women with Unexplained Infertility Undergoing Fertility Treatment. Antioxidants (Basel). 2019;8(9):338. Published 2019 Aug 23. doi:10.3390/antiox8090338). 
  2. Fernando S, Osianlis T, Vollenhoven B, Wallace E, Rombauts L. A pilot double-blind randomised placebo-controlled dose-response trial assessing the effects of melatonin on infertility treatment (MIART): study protocol. BMJ Open. 2014 Sep 1;4(8):e005986. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005986. PMID: 25180056; PMCID: PMC4156817.
  3. Lerchl A and Luboshitzky R. Melatonin Administration Alters Semen Quality in Normal Men.  Journal of Andrology.  2004 March-April 25 (2): 185-187.


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