Do you want to know the secret to getting pregnant…? The truth is - there isn’t one! While I wish there was an easy checklist to a healthy pregnancy, the path is unique for each person and influenced by a variety of factors. Research shows that things like a healthy diet, regular exercise, and practicing mindfulness support better fertility outcomes. But there is one very important tool to support healthy hormones and fertility that is often overlooked… SLEEP!
Poor sleep is associated with a multitude of health issues, including those that affect fertility. According to this study from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, women who were getting low quality sleep (less than 7 hours of sleep per night) were less likely to get pregnant than those clocking more optimal shut-eye. While you can’t force yourself to sleep, you can set up an environment that supports good quality rest.
Top 3 Fertility-Supporting Nighttime Routine Tips
Eat More Protein: I recommend that at least 20% of your day’s calories come from protein, and that you eat a protein rich dinner to avoid nocturnal hypoglycemia. If your dinner is more than three hours before bedtime, try a high protein snack (like an apple and nut butter) before bed to keep your blood sugar balanced through the night.
Lighting: Dim the lights in your home around two hours before your goal bedtime, and minimize exposure to blue light (no late night social media scrolling!) at least one hour before bed. Bonus points for watching the sunset, which helps to increase natural melatonin release. Plus, it’s a great way to connect with nature and ground yourself at the end of the day.
Intentionally Wind Down: Rather than collapsing into bed after a busy day and expecting to fall asleep (or scrolling endlessly in bed before you turn the lights out), create an intentional wind down routine that signals to your body that sleep is near. I love taking a warm bath, diffusing lavender or chamomile essential oils, practicing breathing exercises, meditation (so important for your mindset!), and journaling to end the day. I may not have time for all of those things each day, but I incorporate as much as I can to separate the busyness of the day from a restful night’s sleep.
One thing that’s become a non-negotiable part of my nighttime routine and a simple way to wind down is a regular skincare routine. Rather than rushing through these steps, gently incorporate them into your routine as a way of caring for yourself. I always recommend non-toxic skin care products, as so many beauty products contain hormone-disrupting ingredients. Take an audit of your skin care inventory and plan to slowly add in non-toxic products.
If you’re looking for more ways to holistically support your health, fertility, and sleep, be sure to check out this podcast episode with Dr. Aumatma. And join my free journaling challenge if you’re ready to begin a journaling practice but aren’t sure where to begin. As always, let these recommendations inspire you (no stress!) to add healthy habits to your daily routine to support your very best self!