Are you a light sleeper? Need the sweetest concoction of comforts to get your eight hours? Beware. The full moon is coming, and it might interrupt your sleep set-up.
Due in the early hours of Saturday 28 October, the full moon has been found to make staying asleep more difficult, potentially delay you from reaching REM sleep (the type of sleep that allows you to dream) and may make you sleep lighter.
As the next full moon fast approaches, it’s time to put some preparation in to place to make sure you still get those all-important Zzzzs.
To make matters even more complicated, the next full moon is set to be the Hunter’s moon. What does this mean, you may ask. Well, the Hunter’s moon comes every year in October — it’s the next full moon after the Harvest moon in September. Like the Harvest moon, the Hunter’s moon can be especially bright, making the night feel particularly eery.
As Jason Peterkin, director at 247 Blinds previously told us Glamour, the light of the Hunter’s moon can make nodding off extra hard. ““Blackout blinds are a brilliant addition to help you achieve an ideal night’s sleep. The thick fabric will not only help to regulate the temperature of the house but also ensure you get a better night’s sleep during the brighter evenings,” he said.
Here are nine more tried-and-tested tips from neuroscientist Dr Elisabeth Philipps and interiors expert Richard Petrie, all designed to help you get all the sleep you can this full moon.
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“Making sure your hands and feet are toasty warm can help you to get to sleep faster,” Dr Philipps says. “This is because warming both extremities sends a message to your brain that it’s time for bed.”
So, if you can, incorporate a pair of cute bed socks into your bedtime routine. If socks don’t work for you, try an electric blanket or hot water bottle over your feet.
If you’re struggling with sleep, your impulse might be to rest up and stay in bed as much as possible. But keeping moving when you’re tired can be integral to ensuring you fall asleep at a good time, especially with the full moon approaching.
“Staying active regularly can help increase your sleep quality, so whether it’s a walk during the day or hitting the gym, keep your body moving to feel the benefits when you go to bed,” Dr Philipps says.
“CBD may help to accentuate feelings of relaxation,” Dr Phillips suggests, who recommends adding a couple of drops of CBD oil to your night time routine by squeezing a couple of drops directly onto your tongue or into a drink to help you wind down after a long day.
While there might not be a lot of scientific backing behind CBD oils at the moment, many have sung its praises for helping them to relax and sleep easier.
“There are many factors that can affect our sleep, including stress, poor diet, overworking and caffeine,” she adds. “Research suggests that the endocannabinoid system is one of the most important systems for keeping sleep patterns regular and healthy.
“CBD may support the body’s natural sleep state to help us fall asleep and stay asleep, supporting the body to rest and repair.”
It might be the toughest one of all, but cutting out down on how much you use your phone before bed can help you wind down.
“We’re all guilty of scrolling in bed, however the bright lights emitted from screens can trigger the brain into feelings of alertness,” Dr Philipps says. “Step away from your device at least 60 minutes before bedtime to let your brain relax before bed.”
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Both the snuggly temperature of the bath and the temperature drop can help induce sleep ASAP.
Dr Philipps calls it the “perfect remedy” to relax during the winter months. “When you get out, the sudden drop in body temperature mimics the natural temperature drop the brain produces just before sleep,” she says.
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“Weighted blankets give a really comforting feeling when you snuggle down to sleep, like a warm lovely hug,” Dr Philipps says.
“Evidence shows they can release feel-good hormones such as serotonin – often called the ‘happy chemical’ – which helps to decrease nervous system activity and give us that warm feeling of wellbeing, helping you to sleep better.”
Add some sleepy vibes to all your senses, including your sense of smell.
“Add a few drops of lavender oil to a tissue and inhale the scent before bedtime,” Dr Philipps advises. “This can help to calm the mind and help relax you in preparation for sleep.”
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We all know this one, but it’s a particularly important piece of advice pre-full moon – staying away from your phone in the hour(s) leading up to bedtime helps with your sleep patterns. This is particularly important if the moon could interrupt your shut eye.
“Phones emit blue light, which can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime, despite being dark outside,” Richard tells GLAMOUR. “Blue light also suppresses levels of melatonin in the body, a natural hormone which is responsible for controlling our sleep cycle.
“Lower levels of melatonin have been linked to insomnia and irritability, so staying away from your phone before bed is essential for a good night’s sleep.”
“It is the light of the full moon that tends to keep people awake and cause disturbance as they’re trying to drift off to sleep,” Richard says.
“To prevent this kind of disturbance, gradually start to limit the amount of artificial light in your bedroom a few hours before you go to sleep, by dimming the lights and switching off any lampshades.
“The later we expose ourselves to light, the harder it will be to fall asleep – so start early.”
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