I’m not sure if it’s my imagination but we seem to be having a lot of Full Moons this year?
The reason I have become so aware of this is because it plays havoc with my sleep. I cannot sleep and I cannot get to sleep.
I dread hearing that there is going to be a Full Moon for this very reason. It means that I’m going to suffer a succession of sleepless nights.
Now this may all sound a bit ‘out there’ and I know that the Moon has a job to do, but so do I.
Let me assure you that I am fully grounded on matters such as this. I seek simply to understand why it is that insomnia and a Full Moon coincide.
Further, the onset of our monthly cycle will often bring about a succession of sleepless nights. On the basis that our cycle can sometimes follow the phases of the moon, I am convinced that there must be some connection. A logical cause.
As a women approaching her 50s, I have several years of experience of no sleep when there is a Full Moon. There are, of course, many factors that a woman of my tender years may attribute her sleeplessness to. Is this one of them?
And I want to get to the bottom of this once and for all. I also know that many of you are going to be nodding along with me on this, whilst others may feel I have taken leave of my senses!!! Either is fine. But I do feel that the moon is entitled to a fair hearing on this.
I always write from the perspective that at least one other person is experiencing the same thing. You guys haven’t let me down yet! And if you don’t ask the question ……………………………. you never get an answer!
But do we want to know the answers or are they all a bit too ‘woo woo’ for us? Perhaps it’s just a coincidence or is it all in the mind?
I have consulted some experts to ask for their views. Further, I have chosen a group of people that will see this from their own unique perspective – whether this be from a health, holistic, age or spiritual view.
I ask each of them whether there is truth behind any connections being made or are they simply myths?
Here follows some answers. You may well have your own too.
Rachel McGuinness from Wake Up With Zest helps busy people have a better experience in bed – she helps people improve their shut eye! Typically, her clients are tired and exhausted from either poor-quality sleep or just not getting enough. She teaches them how to improve their slumbers by reducing their anxiety, improving bedtime routines and embracing a healthier lifestyle; she helps them to fall in love with bedtime again.
So what does Rachel have to say?
“Is disturbed sleep and the full moon a bunch of woo woo tosh or is there something in it?
Being a woman of a certain age and menopausal, I can hand on heart say that a bad night’s sleep is attributed to the lunar cycle. I live out in the wilds of the Oxfordshire countryside where there is very little light pollution and with a bedroom that faces south, even with black out curtains, the full moon shines through my bedroom window like a flippin’ arc light!
However, I don’t think you have to be menopausal to experience a bad night’s sleep from a full moon. In 2013, Christian Cajochen from Basel University did some research into the subject. He discovered that the volunteers slept approximately 20 minutes less, took about 5 minutes longer to drift off to sleep and apparently experienced around 30 percent less deep sleep during the night. His conclusion was that it was an evolutionary throw back from our ancestors, when our predators would have been able to hunt out us, its prey in the brighter moonlight.
When I’m aware that there’s a full moon, I wear a sleep mask to block out the brighter light and to give me a better chance of a good night’s sleep!”
Irene Elliott is a Complementary Therapist at So Shiatsu in Sussex. Irene is an ex-nurse who offers Shiatsu and Reiki treatments and has specialised in treating clients with stress, anxiety and stress related symptoms such as insomnia.
Irene says :
“I truly believe that the Moon can affect our sleep patterns. During my many years working as a Nurse and a Complementary Therapist I have regularly observed changes in peoples behaviour, emotions and sleep patterns around the time of the full moon.
I believe that these effects are caused by electromagnetic energy radiating from the Moon, which interacts with our own bio-electromagnetic field.
Every living being produces its own bio-electromagnetic field, which can be influenced by our health, wellbeing and by exposure to external electromagnetic fields such as mobile phones, computers and even the Moon.
In energy medicine such as Shiatsu and Reiki this bio-electromagnetic energy is known as Qi or Life Force Energy. Qi is in everyone. It is what moves the blood, lymph and makes your heart beat.
So when your Qi has been put out of balance your meridian and chakra systems will also be affected. According to Chinese Medicine the full moon can affect Qi and Blood in the body. Qi is thought to rise to the top of the head causing an imbalance. This in turn can affect the Liver Meridian causing anger, depression, dream disturbed sleep and insomnia in some people.”
Heather Prince is the go-to expert for healing inherited blocks, thus enabling you to live the life of your dreams.
“Although I work with re-balancing “energy” on a spiritual level, as a down-to-earth Capricorn, I love to back it up with science.
Scientists have studied the effect of the moon on your body, calling it the lunar effect. In “Current Biology”, it suggests that the moon may have a detrimental effect on your sleep quality and pattern.
33 participants slept in a darkened study lab without windows, so the effect of extra light from a full moon would not be a factor. Hooked up to monitors, researchers recorded how quickly they fell asleep, how long and their brain wave patterns.
Participants stayed at the lab for 3 1/2 days. Neither the participants nor the researchers were told one of the factors in the study was the phase of the moon.
The data shows participants got 20 minutes less sleep during the full moon.
It also took them five more minutes to fall asleep, and more importantly, they experienced 30 percent less deep sleep than they did on nights when there wasn’t a full moon.
They theorized the lunar effect on sleep could be because of the increased amount of light you’re exposed to, before sleep on nights of a full moon.”
Dr Ashish Paul – Ashishveda gives her view based on the principles of Ayurvedic practice.
“One of the theories for this connection is that human bodies are made up of more than 70% water. A Full Moon pulls water of the whole earth causing high tides in the oceans. Similarly, it causes tides in our bodies too – pulling the water element, thus causing disturbance in our hormones. This may affect our sleep. Some people are more sensitive to this change.
The Full Moon, due to its impact on our cellular water element, will be giving its cooling effect. So according to Ayurveda, Vatta and Kapha people may find that the coolness make their sleep disturbed. Vatta are cold and dry; Kapha are cold and damp. So people with these body types will feel more cold during full moon and have disturbed sleep.
If your room is not fully covered by curtains, the light from the full moon may affect the melatonin and thus the sleep.”
Fiona Young of Yoga Revolution is an Ashtanga Yoga teacher and student as well as a Teen Yoga teacher and Traditional Thai Yoga Massage Therapist.
” As an Ashtanga Yoga student and teacher, we follow the teachings of our Guru Sri K Pattabhi Jois. Jois did not teach on “Moon days” .
Traditional Ashtanga Yoga teachers do not teach on Moon days. If it is a full or new moon we take the day off from our usual 6 day a week Yoga practice.
We are made of 70% water and water is affected by the phases of the moon. The full moon energy corresponds to the end of inhalation when force of ‘prana’ or energy is at its greatest. It makes us feel energetic, and emotional but not grounded. During full moon phase we tend to be more headstrong.
The New moon phase corresponds with the end of exhalation and is a contracting, downward moving force that is calm and grounding but dense and heavy.
So maybe we need more sleep on a new moon and not so much on a full moon as our energy levels are higher?
Maybe it’s the gravitational pull of the moon that makes you unable to sleep? Or perhaps its just that the full moon is so bright? I recommend black out curtains and an eye mask!”
So it’s not just me then?!
And there is also a double benefit here for me in putting this post together. As well as hearing the different views offered by our therapists, I’ve really enjoyed learning a little bit more about what each of these lovely ladies do. Quite often we turn to alternative therapies for our health and well being, so it’s always useful to find out about the diversity of treatments available to us.
Before seeing the individual responses from these ladies, I guess I was expecting someone to offer a view to the contrary. It’s always a relief to know you aren’t alone isn’t it!
There may, of course, still be an alternative explanation. If there is, feel free to add your comments and views.
As always, I am open to and welcome different viewpoints.