This episode has a slightly unusual intro as I had to record it whilst driving, my recorder was safely stored in my glove compartment or whatever the bit in the middle is, by the handbreak.. it does affect the quality a bit, so I apologise. However I’m just back from Fertility Fest and needed to go and pick up my son and get this episode finished.. Hence the need to multi task. You’ll hear a quick chat from Jessica Hepburn from Fertility Fest who I did an insta live with after the session to day (Sunday 28th April) and I’ve lifted the audio, seeing Lives dissapear.. again a slight quality issue. I also wanted you to get to watch the Fertility Fight Club live stream which you can do so here
Now onto my guest. Meet Melanie Brown, a fertility nutritionist and former guest on this podcast. I wanted to speak with Mel after I saw her post this on her instagram
So I wanted to know more. Now, this chat was back in January, so Mel does refer to it being dark in the afternoons and getting lighter (don’t get confused if you’re listening in April when I’ve released it).
Mel was keen to know about the effects of circadian rhythms on your fertility and whether it can affect it. We spoke about how it’s been known for a long time that shift workers, stewardess and pilots have menstrual irregularities and that there is a great deal of evidence that fertility is diminished.
But what about the rest of us, working normal hours. Does it affect us? Well it seems it does.
The luteinizing hormone that surges mid-cycle is under the 24-hour body clock control so disturbances could affect ovulation and uterine receptivity.
If implantation doesn’t happen, despite embryos being quality and blastocyst… everything is done to receive the embryo (scratch, washes then we need to start to consider the stress on the body from sleep deprivation affecting uterine receptivity
There was also discussion about TNF Alpha – related to Natural killer cells being linked to sleep stress pathway.
Mel explained how she always recommend my clients use a SAD lamp as there is evidence that getting 20 min of natural daylight in the morning before 9am can have an extremely positive effect and can set your master clock
Did you know that IVF success rates are lower in the winter, higher in the spring and summer
I think it’s also to do with you get up in the dark, go to work in the dark, artificial light and she spoke about
Mel spoke about the benefits of melatonin and how in order to prepare to go to sleep, make sure you are not in a bright bedroom, checking your phone and then turning off the light and hoping to go to sleep
We spoke about Sleep Hygiene. Warm bed cold room… we evolved to sleep in cold temperatures having the heating on in the winter is bad for our sleep
We spoke about whether the sleep before midnight more valuable than after and how its the quantity of sleep. If you go after midnight you’re more likely to get less sleep
The cut-off point for sleep damage is UNDER 6 hours
Did you know you can do SLEEP CATCH up at the weekend it’s been discovered you can… just do it for one night… it’s quite technical so have a listen to how Mel explains it, but do remember that sleep is our wear and repair time and we try and we might to get out of it… we can’t do it. Remember that the environment that interrupts our sleep, so use blackout blinds and earbuds.
Women with diminished ovarian research are 30 times more likely to have disturbed sleep?
Mel gave great advice on how to approach sleep when you are going through IVF… sometimes it’s easier to think of it as a project. I know I did like it was a science experiment. Mel said ‘You have to think – I have to be in bed for at least 7 hours, so I have some spare time to get back to sleep and I’m not going to get anxious. It’s like school nights you’re getting as much sleep as you can. If you don’t get enough sleep something else will give – the immune system you have to take the best care of yourself and sleep is an essential part of that…”
Do have a listen to my previous chat with Mel about how a Mediterranean diet can really benefit male fertility here