Date
17 October 2017
A man who sleeps less than seven hours a day has a 25 per cent lower sperm count but a man who oversleeps is down 40 percent in sperm count, according to a study. Photo: HKEJ
A man who sleeps less than seven hours a day has a 25 per cent lower sperm count but a man who oversleeps is down 40 percent in sperm count, according to a study. Photo: HKEJ

What lack of sleep does to sperm count, periods and fertility

We may be wealthy but probably not healthy.

Consider a typical Hong Kong worker who spends 3.7 hours (222 minutes) a day on the internet.

That makes us the most sleep-deprived Asian city with only 6.5 hours of sleep. (If we were a country, we would also top the list.)

Worse, we exercise just 23 minutes a day, or one-tenth of our internet hours, much less than the government-recommended 30 minutes daily.

No wonder Hongkongers are the least healthy in Asia, according to the AIA Healthy Living Index, which has been tracking regional health trends by studying the lifestyles of more than 10,000 people in 15 countries and regions since 2011.

The healthiest country based on the survey is China which has more farmers than office workers.

But Hong Kong people are among the most hardworking. We spend an average of 10 hours working — 12 hours are not uncommon.

Then again, once we’re home, we hit the internet, surfing, checking e-mails or watching Korean dramas.

Modern technology enables us to multi-task and work out while watching movies at the same time.

But the survey did not reflect that because we only work out an average of 23 minutes.

In fact, because of our internet addiction, we don’t sleep early which explains why we lack sleep.

The survey missed an item in its healthy living sub-index — fertility.

Some local papers cited a certain investment banking couple who slept only three to four hours on weekdays but 10 hours on weekends

They struggled to conceive because the husband has low sperm count and the wife suffers from erratic menstrual cycles.

Talking about bad sperm, a survey in SLEEP journal found that a man who slept between seven and seven-and-a-half hours a day had the best quality and quantity of sperm, according to research on 796 university students in Chongqing.

A man who slept less than seven hours a day had a 25 per cent lower sperm count but a man who overslept (nine hours or more) was down 40 percent in sperm count.

That makes you wonder how the internet-loving, sleep-loathing Hongkonger will stack up.

– Contact us at [email protected]

JT/AC/RA

An EJ Insight contributor

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe