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Full Moonstruck...or Why I Can't Sleep

By Kate Bast, Shinrin-YokuMadison.com


How do you know when the full moon is about to rise?


Yes, yes, there are websites that list and track the time -- Science.com, TimeandDate.com, and more. I check those almost daily to get my timing down -- when will it be over the horizon, overhead?


I am a moon watcher, always looking to catch a glimpse of its rise, or an event -- an eclipse; super moons; full moons; new moons; Harvest, Wolf, Blood, Snow and Cold Moons….you get it. It simply fascinates me and puts me in a state of awe, that globe cutting through the night sky, to light my way through woods, prairies, even the trails of my mind.


But even if I couldn’t see it, even if cloud cover blocked my view of the moon's phases on the way to fullness, I would know it’s a full moon.


Actually, I'd know it's a full moon week, its last quarter.


How?


I can’t sleep.


I swear, it wakes me up, just to look at it. Which, being a moonstruck selenophile - a moon lover -- I always do.


I can’t fall asleep, let alone stay asleep, and I wake several random times throughout the night, and always, during full moon weeks, rise earlier than usual. I seem to have an endless font of energy, counter to missing out on Zsss, I have to go look at it. Of course. Like others, I experience increased creativity and inspiration to get #@!% done.


There is speculation that it’s due to light exposure; the longer days of summer and moon suppress melatonin, the hormone that controls our sleep-wake cycles. Of course, all our screen time on gadgets pouring out artificial light adds to sleeplessness. There’s also speculation that it has something to do with lunar gravitational pull, though experts have not yet found evidence for this. And there’s scientific controversy around what does.


A new study, published January 2021 in Scientific Advances magazine, found that, “

The peak in sleep onset time and trough of sleep duration took place 3 to 5 days before the night of full moon. ...Thus, moon phases were associated with predictable and biologically relevant changes in daily sleep timing.”

Controversial or not, that’s validation enough, for me at least. Good to know I’m not crazy. Or a werewolf.


Pray tell, what does the full moon do to you?


I’ve got an easy way for you to find out (see below). -Kate



Full Moon Walk: July 23, 2021

7:30 - 9:30/10 pm Ice Age Trail parking lot at Hwy. PD and S Highpoint Road

For walk details visit:

Shinrin-YokuMadison.com








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