PART ONE: CIRCADIAN HEALTH IN PREGNANCY

Learn how good circadian rhythms contribute to the health of a pregnancy, and what this can mean across the lifespan for the baby.

Summary Notes:

  • The circadian rhythm controls what happens when

  • Via genes, the circadian rhythm controls the creation of sperm, eggs, sex hormones, puberty and overall fertility1

  • Mitochondrial health depends on a healthy circadian rhythm to balance pro-oxidative and antioxidant forces (redox) in pregnancy2

  • Redox balance allows sperm creation, egg creation, and implantation to complete3

  • Melatonin, controlled by the circadian rhythm, plays a major role in balancing redox as well as fertility4

  • Any free person can access a lifestyle that nurtures their circadian rhythm

  • The placenta connects the baby to its mother’s circadian rhythm in utero5

  • Placental health requires high melatonin6

  • Melatonin itself is a powerful endogenous—ie, made by the body—antioxidant that protects health of both mother and baby in pregnancy7

  • Melatonin climbs throughout pregnancy and peaks at the time of birth8

  • There is a synergy between melatonin and oxytocin in the uterus9

  • Oxytocin vs pitocin

  • Endogenous melatonin vs synthetic melatonin

  • Natural boost of melatonin: tryptophan-rich food —> sunshine —> darkness

  • Over the counter melatonin is unreliable because the dose is highly variable despite what label says10

  • Real life “Easter egg”: I recorded this workshop from my gazebo and at this point in the recording my chickens 🐔and rooster 🐓 swarmed me… I later found out a bear was stalking them! 🐻 rawr!

  • It takes about 20 years for new research to get into clinical guidelines

  • Light is the most important factor in regulating the circadian rhythm

  • Lifelong health conditions are related to the circadian programming received in the early life beginning in the womb11

  • Sleep quality, another effect of the circadian rhythm, is correlated with all forms of mental health across the lifespan12

  • Circadian systems have multiple modes per day (ie, sleep/wake)

  • A zeitgeber is a “time-giver” that directly affects the circadian rhythm13

  • There are primary (also called “self-sufficient”) and secondary zeitgebers

  • Primary zeitgebers—for humans, that’s light/temperature and meal timing—directly affect the biological circadian clocks

  • Secondary zeitgebers (ie, social cues) support or detract from the effects of the primary zeitgebers

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1

Sciarra, F., Franceschini, E., Campolo, F., Gianfrilli, D., Pallotti, F., Paoli, D., Isidori, A. M., & Venneri, M. A. (2020). Disruption of Circadian Rhythms: A Crucial Factor in the Etiology of Infertility. International journal of molecular sciences, 21(11), 3943. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21113943

2

Toboła-Wróbel, K., Pietryga, M., Dydowicz, P., Napierała, M., Brązert, J., & Florek, E. (2020). Association of Oxidative Stress on Pregnancy. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2020, 6398520. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/6398520

3

Almansa-Ordonez, A., Bellido, R., Vassena, R., Barragan, M., & Zambelli, F. (2020). Oxidative Stress in Reproduction: A Mitochondrial Perspective. Biology, 9(9), 269. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology9090269

4

Yong, W., Ma, H., Na, M., Gao, T., Zhang, Y., Hao, L., Yu, H., Yang, H., & Deng, X. (2021). Roles of melatonin in the field of reproductive medicine. Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie, 144, 112001. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2021.112001

5

Wong, S. D., Wright, K. P., Jr, Spencer, R. L., Vetter, C., Hicks, L. M., Jenni, O. G., & LeBourgeois, M. K. (2022). Development of the circadian system in early life: maternal and environmental factors. Journal of physiological anthropology, 41(1), 22. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40101-022-00294-0

6

Chuffa, L. G. A., Lupi, L. A., Cucielo, M. S., Silveira, H. S., Reiter, R. J., & Seiva, F. R. F. (2019). Melatonin Promotes Uterine and Placental Health: Potential Molecular Mechanisms. International journal of molecular sciences, 21(1), 300. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010300

7

Langston-Cox, A., Marshall, S. A., Lu, D., Palmer, K. R., & Wallace, E. M. (2021). Melatonin for the Management of Preeclampsia: A Review. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(3), 376. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10030376

8

Reiter, R. J., Tan, D. X., Korkmaz, A., & Rosales-Corral, S. A. (2014). Melatonin and stable circadian rhythms optimize maternal, placental and fetal physiology. Human reproduction update, 20(2), 293–307. https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmt054

9

Olcese, J., & Beesley, S. (2014). Clinical significance of melatonin receptors in the human myometrium. Fertility and sterility, 102(2), 329–335. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2014.06.020

10

Erland, L. A., & Saxena, P. K. (2017). Melatonin Natural Health Products and Supplements: Presence of Serotonin and Significant Variability of Melatonin Content. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 13(2), 275–281. https://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.6462

11

Hsu, C. N., & Tain, Y. L. (2020). Light and Circadian Signaling Pathway in Pregnancy: Programming of Adult Health and Disease. International journal of molecular sciences, 21(6), 2232. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21062232

12

Alachkar, A., Lee, J., Asthana, K., Vakil Monfared, R., Chen, J., Alhassen, S., Samad, M., Wood, M., Mayer, E. A., & Baldi, P. (2022). The hidden link between circadian entropy and mental health disorders. Translational psychiatry, 12(1), 281. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-022-02028-3

13

Roenneberg, T., & Merrow, M. (2007). Entrainment of the human circadian clock. Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology, 72, 293–299. https://doi.org/10.1101/sqb.2007.72.043