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Working Graveyard Shift Could Damage Men’s Sperm Count

New study finds bad schedules do more harm than sleep apnea and insomnia.

Health By

Working the night shifts could turn out to be a nightmarish scenario for men trying to conceive children.

According to the American Urological Association, shift workers—or the type of folks that work outside of the traditional 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. work day—produce lower sperm counts than nine-to-fivers.

First presented at last month’s Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association, a series of research studies revealed a battery of consequences that come from working nontraditional job hours. The main reason? The sleep disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia that come with odd shifts.

One study presented at the conference found that weird hours could increase the possibility of infertility in workers—reducing that aforementioned sperm count and testosterone levels.

But that’s just the beginning of the bad news. Another study found that nontraditional hours could lead to erectile dysfunction, decreased muscle mass, and a lower sex drive; while another presented a number of urinary tract issues, including needing to go more frequently, and disrupted opr painful urine flow.

Not everyone has the luxury of working a nine-to-five job. But at the very least, men who work the graveyard shift should be getting an average of 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep per day/night to help mitigate the harmful effects of their schedule, according to WebMD.