Full moons have long served to explain all sorts of wackiness. From werewolves to bad moods, when that rock in the sky is shining bright, it’s easy to feel like some astral power is at work. And while the wolfman might not actually be prowling the woods under the lunar light, the moon does have some real impact on your body.
Swiss scientists have discovered that sleep patterns are linked to lunar cycles. Throughout a given month, as the moon hides and then slowly reveals itself, our sleep takes a hit. When the moon approaches fullness, sleepers are more prone to sleep disruption, spending less time in those sleep cycles that really tune everything out and help the body and mind to restore. Like going to bed with a full bladder, a full moon appears to interrupt deep, meaningful sleep.
Why is the moon effing with your sleep? Well, as part of a larger cosmic clock, the moon moves to a galactic metronome, one that keeps the planets aligned and spinning. This timepiece affects things here on Earth, controlling natural events like moving the seasons along. Our own bodies feel the pull too: we’re all regulated by circadian rhythm, the internal timer that tells you when to sleep, when to wake up, and when to eat. This rhythm follows other natural measurements of time, and serves to remind us that despite VR, group texts, and Uber, we’re still part of the organic world. Circadian rhythm is tightly linked to the 24-hour day, helping to explain why it’s tough to get out of bed on cold, dark winter mornings, or why it’s a struggle to sleep after staring at a tablet in bed. Ignoring the tick tock of your biological clock can lead to pretty serious issues, from increased chance of heart disease to obesity.
Our internal circadian rhythm helps us to make the most of our world. The official timepiece of evolution, circadian rhythms keeps us awake when the environment is ideal: light and warm. All living things run on the kind of clock, and the more closely synchronized to its beat, the more you can take advantage of living a full, disease-free life. If you’re out of whack, it’s okay. We can recalibrate with some simple lifestyle changes.
Tuning your clock.
Practice Makes Perfect
Getting onto a regular sleep schedule is the fastest way to get in a groove with your ticker. Set bedtime alarms on your phone (but don’t stare at it once you’ve turned off the beeper — see below) to gently nudge you toward the bed. Consistent, regular wake up times are important too. It’s nice to sleep in on the weekends, but do so at your own risk. And clear your brunch plans, a lazy Sunday awaits.
A regimented sleep routine is crucial, but staring at the ceiling all night long isn’t helping anyone. We’ve talked at length about how diet, stress, and activity can affect sleep, but the right mattress, pillows, and bedding can go the distance in your race to catch that clock.
Early Sweat vs. Late Sweat
Exercise keeps your body and mind pumping away, but when you work out can also affect your circadian rhythms. Get your heart rate up in the morning if you’re struggling to fully wake up, and hit the gym in the afternoon if you need a pick me up for a long evening ahead.
Go Outside More
Playing inside is fun, but would it kill you to take it outside for a bit? Take a hike, ride a bike, or ditch the car and take a stroll on a quick errand down the street. Sunlight does wonders for keeping us tuned and a little fresh air never hurt anybody.
Turn Off Those Screens
Many devices now feature nighttime modes, shifting the screen color to a reddish cast that doesn’t fry your bedtime brain, but the science is young and there’s not a ton of data to back it up. For our money, we say ditch your phone, tablet, or laptop, read a book, magazine, or newspaper, and fire up some healthy sleep habits.
Every imaginable biological system is finely tuned to perform, survive, and adapt when conditions change. With every 24-hour turn of the planet, every 29.5 day cycle of the moon, our bodies react to nature in myriad ways. Sleeping in harmony with your circadian rhythms is about getting back to the basics, listening to your body, and connecting yourself to nature. More than a sales pitch, at Sleep365, we’re dedicated to naturally luxurious materials because they’re just better. From Joma wool, which tackles both cushion and breathability, to organic cotton fabric covers on our fully natural mattresses, we believe that nature has perfected the recipe on balance and health — and we’re copying her masterwork in every mattress we make.