Men who stay up late to watch Netflix could be making themselves infertile, experts say
In modern times, the phrase 'Netflix and chill' has taken on connotations that have very little to do with chilling, and don't involve much Netflix either. But for me, there's nothing better than coming home on a Friday night and binging Breaking Bad. In fact, it's just as enjoyable (if not more) than its implied meaning, in my opinion.
But if you're a guy, could that proclivity to catch up on your favourite TV show, or revisit your favourite episode of The Office, actually be making you infertile? If these experts are to be believed then the answer is 'maybe'.
Per The Independent, a new study from Aarhus University in Denmark is warning men trying to get their partners pregnant that staying up late to watch Netflix (or... just staying up late in general) could be a significant stumbling block in their parenthood plans.
Scientists from Aarhus quizzed 104 men with an average age of around 34-years-old on how many hours of sleep they had per day over the last month. They also rated the men on sleep quality; seven hours of pure, uninterrupted sleep were better than say, getting eight hours but having to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
The scientists found that those who went to bed at 10.30 pm or earlier had way healthier sperm than those night owls, discovering they were as high as six times more likely to have a healthier sperm count than any of the men who slept poorly.
Evidence has shown that getting an adequate night's sleep is vital to fertility; sleep deprivation can lead to an overactive immune system, attacking sperm and leaving you shooting blanks for the foreseeable future. Plus, if you're staying up until the wee hours of the morning with work just around the corner, chances are that you're not going to be at your best to try for a baby.
Here's Professor Hans Jakob Ingerslev, co-author of the study from Aarhus University, to put what I just said in more science-y terms:
"These were men who had been trying to have a baby for about two years and an early bedtime was likely to be important because it allowed them to get more sleep. The reasons could be psychological as sleep-deprived men suffer more stress and that can have an impact on fertility."
The study, one of many presented at the annual conference for the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), also claimed that overall sleep quality had little effect on sperm quality, as assessed by men and their partners at a fertility clinic.
Other scientists weren't as convinced, though, with Dr Christopher Barratt, professor of reproductive medicine at the University of Dundee, giving the study the scientific equivalent of: 'well, duh.'
"Telling men who are trying to conceive to get more sleep is a very sensible message, although this is a small study. If you don't get enough sleep, that has an impact on the metabolism, which will have a negative effect on sperm quality. It is pretty basic advice but a lack of sleep is closely tied to feeling stressed and stressed men are also less likely to have sex once a day, as we recommend when trying for a baby."
There you have it, folks! If you're trying to have a baby, maybe it's time to switch off the Netflix, and get a good night's rest. For your baby's sake.