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The Effects of a Full Moon on Sleep

may 6 full moon graphicSINCE MAY IS WHEN spring hits full bloom, the full moon in May is often referred to as the Full Flower or Big Leaf Moon. The full moon in May 2017 will occur on May 10th, which is rapidly approaching. What you may not know, though, is how this full moon and others throughout the year can impact your sleep.

The Full Moon Results in a Loss of Sleep

The effects of a full moon on sleep were studied by Swiss researchers in 2013. They discovered that on average it took study participants five additional minutes to fall asleep, and that the study participants average 20 minutes less sleep on the night of a full moon than during an average night.

What was particularly telling about this study, according to the Huffington Post, is that there were no windows in the rooms of the study, leading to speculation that our biological clocks follow 28-day lunar cycles. This means that you can’t simply invest in quality blackout shades for a better night’s sleep during the full moon.

What was even more telling about the study, is that people experienced 30 percent less deep sleep during the full moonThis means you’re not only getting less sleep during a full moon,  you’re also not getting enough of the most restful kind of sleep.

The Downside of Sleep Loss

You’ve probably heard about the many ways chronic sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your daily life. Among the toll going without adequate sleep over an extended period of time are the following:

    • Loss of libido
    • Poor skin health
    • Impaired judgment
    • Weight gain
    • Serious health conditions
    • Accidents on the road and at work

full moon and pine tree-1.jpgBut you may be be aware that as little as one night of poor sleep can have a negative impact on your body, your mind, and your health, resulting in:

    • Lack of energy
    • Inability to think clearly
    • Loss of productivity
    • Inability to fight off infections and illnesses (poor immune health)

A good night’s sleep is essential for all these things and so much more. You have a few options to consider if you want to counter the sleeplessness a full moon tends to generate.

Making Up for Sleep Loss During Full Moon

The best thing to avoid losing sleep during a full moon is to be proactive and plan ahead to get a better night’s sleep despite the lunar effect on sleep. The more you do now to offset the sleep loss of a full moon, the better able you will be to recover from the lost sleep when it occurs.

These are a few steps you can take:

    • Plan for extra hours of sleep on the night of the full moon each month
    • Consider relaxation methods and techniques before laying down for the evening so you’ll be in a more restful state to accommodate sleep
    • Exercise early in the day
    • Limit caffeine during the day and avoid alcohol before going to bed
    • Resist the temptation to watch television or use your laptop immediately before going to bed

Full moon insomnia is alive and real. The best way to avoid the negative effects and loss of sleep it delivers is to be ready for the Big Leaf Moon on May 10th. But if all else fails and you find yourself having a harder time falling alseep, just roll with it and enjoy the beauty of the moonlight.

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