If You're Having Trouble Sleeping This Week, You Can Blame The Strawberry Moon
Even if you’d rather keep up with the Kardashians over everything astrological, you’re going to want to mark your calendars for this: On Thursday, June 28, a glowing, gorgeous Strawberry Moon will beam down from above and illuminate your bedroom from its perch in the sky. Unfortunately, a Strawberry Moon isn't quite as spectacular as its name would suggest — it’s literally just the full moon of June — and, what’s worse, the strawberry moon could affect your sleep, that is, if the rumors are true about full moons making it harder to fall asleep at night. It’s always helpful to create a bedtime routine and set the mood in your sleep space for optimal rest, but science says you probably don’t have to go the extra mile to clock in six to eight hours on the night of the full moon.
The truth is, there are so many urban legends and myths linked to the full moon. According to History.com, some people believe more babies are born during the full moon, or that the completed circle in the sky makes you behave in strange ways. And yes, some people even speculate that full moons make it harder to sleep at night. It’s not exactly BS per se, but there’s definitely not a lot of factual evidence out there that says full moons are going to make you miserable all night long. So whether you end up tossing and turning or falling asleep the second your head hits the pillow, chances are, the cosmos probably aren’t in control of it this time.
So what exactly is the Strawberry Moon anyway?
Just in case you weren’t paying attention during this particular astrology lesson in school, according to TimeAndDate.com, a full moon is the third of four moon phases, and it happens when the entire face of the moon is lit up by the sun. Each full moon has a name that comes from a combination of ancient Native American, Anglo-Saxon, and Germanic month names, and June’s full moon is known as the Strawberry Moon because it symbolizes the start of strawberry season when the wild berries begin to ripen. So even though full moons are astrologically the same, each month’s moon holds a special meaning. Pretty sweet, right?
When it comes to the Strawberry Moon specifically, though — and I really hate to burst your bubble here — it’s not as romantic as it sounds. No, this moon won’t emit a reddish tint, and it won’t exactly be clickbait for your Instagram, either. But it is special in its own right: Every 20 years or so, per TimeAndDate.com, the Strawberry Moon lands on or around the summer solstice, and clearly, this year, it wasn’t too far off. And if that’s the case, you can consider it your second celebration of the beginning of the summer season.
But in terms of your sleep schedule, the Strawberry Moon probably won’t disturb your slumber — and if it does, it's probably just a coincidence.
Here’s where full moons and sleep get their wires crossed: According to sleep science coach and founder of SleepZoo, Chris Brantner, the evidence to support the idea that a full moon throws off your circadian rhythm (aka your body's internal clock that dictates when you should be awake or asleep) is minimal and lacking. For example, one of the few studies exploring this concept took place in 2013, and the researchers at Basel University in Switzerland found that people did take longer to fall asleep during a full moon, slept 30 minutes less than usual, and experienced roughly a whole third less of the average time their body typically spends in deep sleep. However, Brantner points out, it's hard to tell just how accurate these results are, because the experiment only analyzed the sleep patterns of 33 people.
Still, Dr. Brodner, M.D., a sleep specialist and founder and principal physician at the Center for Sinus, Allergy, and Sleep Wellness in Palm Beach County, Florida, says there is scientific evidence that the human body is synced with the phases of the moon, so it's possible there's a connection between the two hidden in here somewhere.
“One study in 2014 found that people slept on average 20 to 25 minutes less during a full moon," Brodner tells Elite Daily. "What was interesting is that the subjects were actually in a room without lights so they couldn't tell it was a full moon outside.” This one minor, yet actually pretty major detail further proved the hypothesis that your body’s internal clock appears to be on the same schedule as the moon. “Whether we realize it or not,” he adds, “we are in tune with mother nature's natural rhythm.”
So if it turns out you do end up wide-eyed under the covers on June 28, there are plenty of tricks for falling and staying asleep.
If you're having trouble sleeping on Thursday, June 28, Brodner tells Elite Daily it's most likely an honest coincidence. Still, why you can't sleep doesn't take away from the fact that you can't, so do yourself a favor and go through a checklist of sleepy-time best practices.
For starters, Brodner says, "lower the temperature in your room a little cooler than usual," because the ideal sleep temperature, according to the National Sleep Foundation is actually anywhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. So if you're tossing and turning, it might be too toasty in your bedroom. Next, avoid watching TV or fiddling with your smartphone too late, because that blue light emitting from your device is definitely throwing off your sleep cycle much more than a full moon ever could.
Most importantly, Brantner tells Elite Daily, the best thing you can do for your body before bed is to simply relax. "Engaging in relaxing activities like taking a hot bath or doing yoga," he says, will naturally wind your body down, prepare your muscles and mind for sleep, and hopefully help you snooze better, and longer.
So sure, astrology might not keep you up, but a lot of things can, and it's best to make sure you sleep space is prepped and primed for optimal snoozing.