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November 2, 2009

Full moon tonight: Will you sleep?

I'm not sure I will. I predict I'll fall asleep reasonably well tonight then awake at 1, 2, or 3 a.m. and not be able to go back to sleep. And, it won't just be because the light of the full moon is briefly shining in my window.

It's something more. A sort of alertness and excitement that comes over me during the full moon. Sometimes, I'd even describe it as a low level of mania--if you want to get all DSM-IV about my symptoms.

Scientists seem to scoff at the idea that humans' moods or sleep patterns are affected by the lunar cycles. Scientists also seem dismissive of the idea that women's monthly menstrual/fertility/hormonal cycles are influenced by the phases of the moon.

Whatever.

I can't say I've been all that in touch with my monthly hormonal cycles--and certainly not as they pertain to the moon. The thing is, I never experienced big highs or lows depending on the time of the month, and I've always enjoyed relatively fuss-free periods and low-level PMS.

Until the past few years...

Oh, gee, am I making the male readers out there cringe?

Anyway, I've just noticed that I've become a tad more sensitive to mood changes during certain times of the month. Am I getting old? Or just become more in touch with my inner goddess?

This heightened sensitivity is not so awful. In fact, I have this amazing influx of energy around the time of the full moon, which, yes, does happen to coincide with the start of my period. This energy burst certainly counteracts any SAD (seasonal affective disorder) that was descending upon me.

Gentleman! Avert your eyes! Because I need to say that I have just stocked a special compartment in my purse with tampons, just in case--you know--Aunt Flo comes to visit tomorrow.

This hormonal burst of energy: It can be wonderful. It makes me feel naturally confident. My brain just seems to work better. I'm more organized, more focused on getting stuff done. And, in writing, the words feel like they flow out of me so much more easily. (Whether they are coherent to anyone else is another matter, of course.)

I wish I could have this energy pumping through me every day...

The downside is that this energy keeps me awake, or awakens me too early, on certain nights every month. This morning, I woke at 3 a.m. (4 a.m. pre-Daylight Savings Time), and I couldn't get back to sleep. My brain was on fire with all sorts of thoughts: mundane, anxiety-provoking, happy, exciting. I just lay in bed, for several hours actually, cosy under my quilt with the chilly autumn night outside me, and let those ideas explode through my head. At some point, the big bright moon hovered in view of our bedroom window, through the branches of an oak tree. It was there for about 10 or more minutes, then descended behind another tree toward the horizon.

Anyway, I don't know if I'll sleep well tonight. And, I wonder if any of you ladies experience the same full-moon phenomenon. Or, if any of you gentlemen?

By the way, Moonconnection.com defines a full moon as when "the earth, moon, and sun are in approximate alignment, just as the new moon, but the moon is on the opposite side of the earth, so the entire sunlit part of the moon is facing us. The shadowed portion is entirely hidden from view. "

Cool, mind-bending stuff, huh? Especially if this regular lunar cycle is affecting us down on earth.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a guy, I noticed my weird hairs growing faster in full moonlight. Maybe it's just me.

It seems to happen more around Halloween.

wcv said...

Or maybe you're a werewolf.

Anonymous said...

I think it's probably perimenopausal symptoms.

Soccer Mom said...

Anon 8:08 a.m.
I'm sure you're right. I know a few women who have the same sleep issues... I've tried to search for articles on this phenomenon. If anyone can find anything, I'd love to see it.

Well, up at 3 a.m. this morning. I probably talked myself into waking up early by writing this blog.

Anonymous said...

well, in my opinion, the best thing for it is melatonin and the ingredient in "simply sleep" OTC....

the latter because one can have a glass of wine and it doesn't seem to interact, at least not for me (very much an opinion, not a suggestion).

Jojo Potato said...

Is that what it was? I thought my back hurt just because of digging out the drainage ditch. But it was more than that, I turned over and over all night. I'll need a nap today.

lipengzhang said...

I'm right with you. I just moved to Cali from NY and I didn't know if that was what affected this strange night. But I have been here for over a week and have had no problems. I have experienced it before and heard that it was the full moon. When I woke up this morning at 4AM and could not go back to sleep, the first thing on my mind was "it must be a full moon." It was a accumulation of energy, then it went to frustration, anxiety and just worries that kept me up the rest of the night until it was 8AM and I went back to sleep. I could never understand why this happens, but my roommate said the same thing, she could not sleep. I wish there was more info on the subject but I'm glad to hear we are not alone. So here is to sleepless nights" have a glass of wine (or 2 or more)tonight and get the rest you much deserve. Full moons are beautiful but I need to sleep!!

Soccer Mom said...

Another full moon! Or nearly full moon. Didn't sleep much again.

Ugh! Well, part of it was that I tried to stay up late and monitor election results. I didn't succeed in staying up past 10, but was awake again by 2 or 3... And, I purposely slept downstairs in our basement, where little light comes in from outside, including from a bright full moon.

Oh, but it sent its lunar energies downward...

Jojo Potato said...

SM, you're the best, your comment brought me a chuckle. I knew I could come here for election results and you had them. Hope you get some sleep going forward.