Maria Howells, our lovely fitness expert talks to us about the relationship between sleep, fitness and fertility
Your body is a marvellous thing and when it comes to sleep, it is no different. Sleep is not a passive process and it is key in effective recovery from workouts. When you sleep, your body is in fact very busy, helping you grow and repair cells. Gone are the days when you should be bragging about getting four hours sleep; if you listen to the top athletes, sleep is a key part of their routine and they make sure they get exactly how much sleep they need and they make sure it is good quality sleep as well.
How does this link to your fertility?
Well, to understand the next part, you need to know that you start to feel sleepy because your body produces a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin stops you feeling as awake and so helps you feel sleepy. What’s amazing is that you do this when it is dark, so that you can match up your body’s natural circadian rhythms to the outside world.
When it comes to fertility, research has shown that melatonin may be linked to egg quality
One piece of research found that in women who had had a failed round of IVF due to poor oocyte quality, 50% of the eggs from women who had taken melatonin prior to round 2 of IVF could be successfully fertilised, as opposed to 22.8% in the control group who had not been given melatonin. When the eggs were then transplanted into the womb, 19% (11 out of the total 56) of the women became pregnant, as opposed to 10.2% (6 out of total 59) in the control group.
This is incredible and it shows the importance of melatonin when it comes to fertility. In fact, some women now take melatonin supplements to help improve oocyte quality (do not start taking supplements without speaking to your doctor).
So, work out at a moderate intensity and then get a good night’s sleep. Work on your fitness and your fertility at the same time.
If you would like to get in touch with Maria, click here