Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Full Moon and Your Sleep

Some people think a full moon is thought of as romantic or a time for the werewolf in you to come out. Astrology says a new moon is the time when the full light of a situation is clear, with the feeling of positive energy and a chance to move forward.

Ayurveda teaches us that creating harmony with our environment is an important way to create health.  The cycles of nature, like the moon, our circadian body rhythm and the seasons, impact our body and spirit.  It is vital to incorporate changes into our daily routine so we can transition seamlessly with the natural changes that are a part of our life.

Getting adequate and restful sleep is one of the essential pillars of health in Ayurveda.  Many experience interrupted or poor-quality sleep related to a variety of factors that can include room temperature, noise, light, pets and evening activities.  According to a recent study the nights of a full moon can negatively impact a person's sleep.

The study found people had a harder time falling asleep and experienced poorer quality sleep.  A drop in the hormone melatonin was also found in the study participants.  Melatonin is a hormone that is linked to natural-body clock cycles and helps the body transition to sleep.  Melatonin disruption can also occur by being exposed to bright lights in the evening or too little light during the day.

Melatonin may be thought of as the sleep hormone but it has been linked to good health by positively affecting women's menstrual cycles, helping with irritable bowel syndrome, men's prostate health, migraines, ant-aging and more.  A reduction in melatonin can cost more than a good night's sleep.  Therefore, preparing for the full moon's melatonin dip is a good way to avoid having a bad night's sleep spiral into something worse, especially if our health is already out of balance.

Besides for taking a supplement, melatonin can be naturally raised by a few life style changes. Getting fifteen minutes of bright sunlight in the morning by walking or just being outside is a good way.  Two, make sure the room you sleep in is completely dark, being mindful of the shades and electronics.  Third, make sure the use of electronic devices is stopped at least an hour before bed to avoid the blue light glare that disrupts melatonin production. Fourth, do not consume caffeine past noon. Finally, find ways to relax in the evening (yoga, meditation, reading). Stress raises cortisol which also impairs the production of melatonin.

The full moon is beautiful as are all the gifts nature shares. and being conscious of how our body interacts with these gifts can lead us to better health.

Stay healthy & well,

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