Lack of sleep may reduce a man's sperm count

Lack of sleep may reduce a man's sperm count

Lack of sleep can reduce a person's sperm count by up to a fourth in addition to reducing their quality, a new study warns.

Researchers found that men who slept poorly had lower sperm counts and fewer sperm that had formed correctly, compared with men who slept better.

"Given the facts that approximately 20 per cent of all young men may have reduced semen quality, and that sleep disturbances are common and increasing in industrialised countries, the results of this study may have important public health implications," researchers said.

They said future studies should look at whether interventions aimed at improving sleep might also improve semen quality, 'MyHealthNewsDaily' reported.
The researchers used data from 953 young men who were mostly in their late teens and early 20s.

They asked the men how well they had slept in the previous four weeks, conducted blood tests to measure their hormone levels and analysed their semen.

As many as 15 per cent of the men said they had found it difficult to fall asleep, and 13 per cent of them reported sleeping restlessly.

In general, the worse that men slept, the poorer the quality of their semen was.

Men who had slept the poorest had a 25 per cent reduction in sperm count, and had 1.6 per cent fewer sperm that were morphologically normal, compared with men who reported low levels of sleep disturbances.

The researchers accounted for factors that could affect the results, such as men's alcohol consumption, smoking and age.

They said there were no differences in hormone levels across the groups.

The study does not prove that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between sleep quality and sperm counts, researchers said.

However, there are plausible ways to explain the link, the researchers said.

The researchers said it may be that sleep disturbances alter nighttime testosterone rhythms, without affecting overall testosterone levels.

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