OCTOBER’s final full moon is set to brighten up the sky tomorrow evening.
Also known as the Hunter’s Moon, many people link the full moon and their behaviour and sleep patterns to its appearance.
The full moon could hinder your sleep but there are some things you can do to prevent it causing havoc with your schedule[/caption]
The full Harvest Moon in September is pictured rising up into the clear night sky from behind St Michael’s Tower on Glastonbury Tor in Somerset on Monday nigh[/caption]
Experts have said that on the night of the full moon you could be hit with so-called lunar insomnia.
According to experts at Royal Museums Greenwich, which is home to the Royal Observatory, a full moon occurs when the Moon appears as a complete circle in the sky.
They explain: “We see it as a full orb because the whole of the side of the Moon facing the Earth is lit up by the Sun’s rays.
“The Moon produces no visible light of its own, so we can only see the parts of the Moon that are lit up by other objects.
“A small amount of light comes from distant stars and the reflection of light from the Earth (known as ‘Earthshine’). However the main source of light for the Moon is the Sun.”
A full moon happens roughly every 29.5 days as this is how long it takes for the Moon to go through a whole lunar phase cycle.
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Sometimes we get more than one full moon in a month and this is because modern day calendars aren’t in line with the Moon’s phases.
Sleep experts at MattressNextDay and astrologer Inbaal Honigman have revealed why the moon has an impact and what you can do to help.
According to Inbaal, the October full moon can make it hard for you to get to sleep, on average five minutes longer than usual.
He explained: “The moon controls the tides, pulling water towards the shore and releasing it back again. The average body is made up of 70 per cent water.
“If the moon can move whole oceans, imagine the effect it has on our bodies when trying to relax.”
This has also been reviewed by scientists in Switzerland who found that on the night of a full moon, it takes the average person an extra five minutes to fall asleep.
Can the full moon affect my mood?
For centuries people have believed that the moon can change your behaviour.
This could be due to the fact that the word lunacy comes from the Latin word ‘lunaticus’ which means ‘moonstruck’.
Aristotle also believed that conditions such as epilepsy were impacted by the moon – but there is no scientific evidence that proves this.
Dr Chris Etheridge, medical herbalist and adviser to Puressentiel – the brains behind the evidence-backed essential oils range said there has been a belief for centuries that the moon impacts on human mood and sleep.
Whilst modern medicine has largely dismissed this idea, newer research suggests there may be some truth in these ancient ideas.
Speaking to The Sun he added: “With regards to mood, a study published in the journal Molecular Research which evaluated patients with rapid cycling bipolar disorder and detected changes in the patients’ mood cycles that synchronised with moon’s tidal cycles, including supermoons (when the moon is at its closest point to the earth along its orbit at the same time as a full moon).
“The authors of this study suggested that these findings may occur because the body’s sleep wake cycle and body temperature rhythms (circadian rhythms) may alter with the stages of the moon’s cycles in a manner that causes a switch from mania to depression in bipolar patients.”
In most parts – it’s likely that the Full Moon has an impact on your sleep because it’s disrupted.
As well as getting to sleep a little bit later, you’re also likely to lose 20 minutes of sleep.
The same experts in Switzerland found that on average most people sleep for twenty minutes less during the full moon and on the days leading up to it, people had lower levels of melatonin.
This is an essential sleep hormone and helps your body synchronise with day and night.
While the full moon can have an impact on your sleep there are some things you can do to help.
Minimising the amount of light you have before bed could help – as many people suggest that it’s the brightness of the full moon that keeps people from their slumber.
The experts said: “As the late afternoon starts drawing in, you should start dimming your lights so that by the time you get to bed, your bedroom is virtually black.
“The use of blackout curtains or an eye mask is also recommended to help with your circadian rhythm, which signals to your brain when it is to time to be alert and time to rest.”
Staying off your phone will also help and the blue light emitted from your device can trick your body into thinking it’s day time when it’s not.
The experts say you should try and use night mode on your phone up to three hours before your head hits the pillow.
Planning can also help you get a decent night’s sleep and if you go to bed expecting a bad night’s sleep, you’re more likely to have one due to the placebo effect.
The experts added: “Plus, it’ll result in your body producing more of the stress hormone, cortisol. The higher the cortisol, the more awake you feel. To help combat this, you plan a relaxing night full of activities such as yoga, meditating to deep breathing, journaling or even having a hot bath.”
Playing rain sounds at night could also help you sleep more soundly due to the calming, stable and non-threatening, steady rainfall noises have been proven to help lure the brain into falling asleep as it helps induce a more meditative state that brings on relaxation, the experts added.
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