The final new moon of 2017 will glow in the sky on Dec. 18. and, as is the case with anything astrological, people are curious about whether or not the lunar phase will benefit us as we transition into the new year. This time around, the new moon is in Sagittarius, which has everyone in a reflective state of mind: How will the decisions we make during the next few weeks affect the start of 2018? Will it disrupt our work-life balance? You might even be wondering about physical changes, too, like how does the new moon affect sleep, and how will your body react to a new cycle?
Psychology Today reported in 2013 that scientists from the University of Basel in Switzerland found that our sleep cycles tend to shift "throughout the moon's 29.5-day cycle," especially around the transition from full to new moon. According to their studies, people have more trouble falling asleep during nights of the full moon, and during the new moon, it slowly became easier for their volunteers to fall asleep at their normal time.
As fascinating as it is to find parallels between the physical body and the ways of our solar system, please keep in mind that every body is unique, and that studies speaking to astrological affects on humans are very generalized, so it's important to approach these topics with a grain of salt. That being said, if you do notice a change in your sleeping patterns during the new moon, here are a few ways to combat the effects and save your snooze from any lunar disruptions.
1. Use A Sleep Tracker
The only way to know for sure whether or not the new moon affects your individual sleep cycle is to do your own research. Every body is different, so even though scientific research suggests the new moon can make you sleep less, or stay in REM 30 minutes longer than usual, you can't be 100 percent positive that your body will react this way, too.
I suggest conducting an experiment all your own by monitoring your sleep via wearable tech, like this smart watch from DBFIT. The device syncs up with your smartphone so you can scroll through its findings of how long you spend in each sleep phase. It also features an adjustable silent, vibrating alarm to wake you up more easily.
2. Change Your Pillows
The easiest way to ensure a good night's rest is to renovate your sleep space to make it as comfortable as possible.
For me, pillows are a total game-changer. I need something fluffy, yet firm, and if you're anything like me (aka indecisive), the Casper Pillow is awesome because it's a two-in-one model that offers the right support for every sleep position, not to mention it's super soft to rest your weary head on.
3. Take Your Vitamins
If you start to notice a change in the quality of your sleep, or if you're tossing and turning more than usual, supplements are definitely something to look into.
I'm very picky when it comes to what I choose to put into my body, but I absolutely love HUM Nutrition supplements and everything they stand for as a brand. Beauty zzZz is a vegetarian tablet rich in melatonin that can be taken right before bed on an empty stomach, to encourage the best night's rest and guarantee you'll have all the energy you'll need to thrive come morning.
4. Commit To A Bedtime Routine
The lunar phases might be shifting, but that doesn't mean your nighttime routine should change, too. Personally, I'm a huge fan of structure, and if I don't follow a routine in the morning or before bed, my schedule and body are both thrown off-course for the remainder of the day and night.
Create a routine to help your mind and body wind down for the night. Go through a detailed skincare routine with your favorite cleansers and moisturizers that feel ultra luxurious, do a sheet mask, brush your teeth, and slither into bed with a good book or cup of tea. The goal here is to prepare your body for sleep; the last thing you want to do is rile yourself up right before your head hits the pillow.
5. Take A Break From Technology
According to a blog post written by certified Reiki master and self-proclaimed yogi Mami Victoria, CYT, RH INHA, the new moon supposedly makes you sleep less, but can also cause sudden bursts of energy.
I know myself, and if I'm wide awake at night, the first thing I reach for is my phone. The issue with that is a) the blue light from smartphones messes with our melatonin production, making it harder to fall and stay asleep at night, and b) I'll almost always get sucked into a YouTube marathon, or I'll scroll through Instagram for hours. Ergo, the best thing you can do for your body before it's time for sleep is log off social media and give your eyes and mind a break.
6. Experiment With Aromatherapy
If you're tapped into the health and wellness world, by now you've probably heard that essential oils for sleep are amazing, and lavender tops the list, as the floral scent is known for its fast-acting soothing properties.
You could absolutely experiment with (decaf) lavender lattes, tea leaves, and even lotions, but if you're worried the new moon might make it hard to sleep, Saje's sleep-promoting kit promises a safe bet for a high-quality snooze.
The kit features a bath salt soak, sleep oil, body mist, and an herbal eyeshade to veil your entire nighttime routine with a calming lavender scent to lull you to sleep with ease.
7. Avoid Caffeine In The Afternoon
Personally, I've never developed an addiction to caffeine, but I know from watching my coffee-loving husband and friends that it's hard to ignore your body when it's jonesing for a fix. However, if the new moon starts messing with your sleep cycle, you may want to consider switching to decaf after late morning to ensure your body's ready for bed come 10 p.m.