Okay, hear me out.
I bet my summer spa break in the Maldives that you’ve been feeling more ‘Drowsy’ than usual, right?
-And no, I’m not psychic… though that would be very handy!
Well, let me tell you why I’m 100% keeping my holiday. On the 27th of April, we will be in the presence of a Super Moon.
- Fine, you might not be lacking in sleep yet, but in the days leading up to the super moon you may start to notice it.
I get the feeling you’ll need a little more convincing.
You’ve probably heard of REM, (rapid eye movement) which is when you are in a light stage of sleep. Well, you also have NREM (Non-rapid eye movement). This is the stage of deep sleep.
When a full moon is present, electroencephalogram (EEG) activity (a measurement of deep sleep) decreases on average by 30%, and the time it takes people to drift off goes up by 5 minutes. In total, sleep is roughly reduced by 20 minutes.
Researchers believe it comes down to 2 things:
- Lunar Gravity
- Increase in Lunar Light
Let’s start with the least popular – Lunar Gravity.
(Heads up, we’re getting a little nerdy for a moment.)
Obviously, we are all affected by the Earths gravity. The moon may be weaker, but even at a distance of 384,400km away, we are all still under the moons gravitational influence. As the moon follows an elliptical path around Earth, it has a stronger gravitational pull on our planet when it’s closer in its lunar month (once every 14.75 days).
Some researchers believe that the lunar month (29.5 days), connected with lunar gravity may lead people to be more sensitive to the effects of light, moonlight, or artificial light on the nights leading up to a full moon.
All of the participants in the test showed the same changes in sleep as the lunar cycle continued. This led the researchers to believe lunar gravity was the cause. – Though there is still no solid evidence of this.
As Humans we’re very light sensitive. That’s why researchers also believe lunar light is the sleep depriving cause behind the full moon.
Natural and artificial light can have a subduing effect on the bodies’ melatonin (an essential sleep promoting hormone). This means moonlight could have a natural waking effect on humans; hence a worse nights sleep when the moon is at it’s brightest.
As humans, we all have a built in body clock - if you want to get geeky then it’s real name is ‘the circadian rhythm’ – a 24 hour cycle that runs in our biological background.
It’s safe to say light in general is the thing that gets our brains active. Who knows, if it wasn’t for our body clocks, we could’ve all been nocturnal!
Even with all this research, there’s still no definitive answer if light or gravity is behind our loss of 20 minutes sleep. The favourable argument is that light is the cause.
Still with me?
As you’re probably aware, full moons take place when the moon is opposite the sun, and reflects sunlight from its surface. This can mean so much more than just the obvious...
The full moon provides an amazing opportunity for self-care and reflection. This month it’s the Aries sun that has taken up an opposition with the Libra moon. This suns strong association with Chiron & Venus guides us to accept issues with relationships & personal suffering. Feel the passion growing from your own life decisions & embrace it. The full moon of Libra will set you on the path for independence, and help you let go of bad energy from your life. It’s time to put yourself first. Elevate & heal your energy by practicing spiritual self-care.
I hope that with this incoming super moon you're able to find inner peace and more importantly deeper sleep.
Anyway, I think I’ve done enough to keep my spa break.
So, what do you think? Light or lunar gravity? Both strong contenders for your lack of sleep when there’s a full moon!