Fecundability: influence of sleep patterns and night work is hard to pin down

  • Fertil Steril

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Among women trying to conceive, reduced sleep hours and night-shift work are not clearly associated with decreased fecundability (conceiving within a single cycle).
  • Subjective report of trouble sleeping at night more often than not was tied to reduced fecundability.

Why this matters

  • Suboptimal sleep has been associated with increased risks for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and all-cause mortality.
  • In the U.S., 12% of employed women participate in night-shift work.

Key results

  • Trouble sleeping was positively associated with elevated BMI, depression diagnosis, Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) score, and tobacco use.
  • Trouble sleeping was inversely associated with income, education, and sleep duration.
  • Women who had "trouble sleeping at night" >50% of time had reduced fecundability:
    • adjusted fecundability ratio, 0.73 (95% CI, 0.60-0.89).
  • Data showed that a small reduced fecundability with short sleep and shift work was not statistically significant.

Study design

  • Prospective cohort study.
  • Cohort taken from the Pregnancy Study Online (PRESTO), an ongoing web-based preconception cohort study of North American pregnancy planners (n=6873).
  • Questionnaires used to assess sleep habits and time to pregnancy.
  • Funding: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Limitations

  • Quantity and quality of sleep are subject to recall bias and misclassification.

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