Sleep Habits of Women with Infertility

Esther Eisenberg, Richard S. Legro, Michael P. Diamond, Hao Huang, Louise M. O'brien, Yolanda R. Smith, Christos Coutifaris, Karl R. Hansen, Nanette Santoro, Heping Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Context: Sleep plays important roles in metabolic and reproductive function, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with sleep disturbances, including increased prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea. Objective: We sought to evaluate sleep parameters in infertile women with PCOS compared with women with unexplained infertility (UI) and identify risk factors for disturbed sleep. Methods: At private and academic ambulatory gynecology and infertility practices, we evaluated a prospective cohort of women diagnosed with PCOS or UI from 2 randomized clinical trials. We included 1603 infertile women enrolled in 2 concurrent randomized clinical trials. The main outcome measures were self-reported sleep measures. Results: Sleep duration <6 hours (6.1% vs 2.7%; P < .001), habitual snoring (37.8% vs 19.0%; P < .001), and clinical sleepiness (12.0% vs 8.6%; P < .026) were more common in women with PCOS than those with UI. After adjusting for covariates, PCOS and elevated fasting insulin were associated (P = .010) with clinical symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) diagnosis, whereas PCOS, elevated insulin (P = .003), WC >88 cm (P = .003), and current smoking (P = .012) were associated with habitual snoring. Clinical depression score (P < .001) and PCOS diagnosis (P = .002) were associated with perceived daytime sleepiness. Short sleep duration and clinical symptoms of OSA were not associated with conception and live birth rates. Conclusion: Infertile women with PCOS more commonly report sleep disturbances than those with UI. Markers of insulin resistance are associated with previous diagnosis of OSA, habitual snoring, and short sleep duration. The presence of clinical symptoms of OSA or short sleep duration does not affect fertility treatment response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E4414-E4426
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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