This article is on the moon cycle and the menstrual cycle and how we can return to our natural rhythms. I finally broke down and bought sunglasses to wear in the house. I only wear them inside once the sun goes down. The amber sunglasses block the blue light from lamps, computers, and TVs. I don’t care if I look like a dork, my hubby thinks I look like a rockstar and that is all that matters.
Artificial white and blue light mimics the light from Sun. Exposure to white or blue light at night inhibits the pineal gland’s production of melatonin. Melatonin is produced primarily at night and needs darkness to be produced.
From the article Fertility Awareness, Food, and Night-Lighting by Katie Singer: “The hypothalamus gland, also located in the brain, is richly supplied with melatonin receptors. This gland regulates your body’s overall homeostasis, including things like blood pressure, emotions, temperature, and the endocrine (hormonal) system. Hormones secreted by the hypothalamus stimulate the anterior pituitary gland to secrete its hormones; and these, in turn, stimulate the thyroid gland, the adrenals, and the ovaries to secrete yet other hormones. The ovaries (and the testicles) are also thought to contain melatonin receptors. 1
You can see how melatonin production–and thereby sleeping in darkness or with light–can affect the whole body’s functioning, including the menstrual cycle: if the hypothalamus doesn’t receive sufficient melatonin, its ability to regulate the hormonal system will be impaired.”
Part of the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® fertility protocol established by Dr. Rosita Arvigo recommends sleeping in the dark all month long except for the three days around ovulation to help balance hormones and sync your cycle with the moon cycle.
If you want to sync your cycle with the moon cycle, try the following. During the time of the full moon let the moonlight in by opening the drapes, or add a small nightlight to produce the effects of the moon. The rest of the month, sleep in complete darkness and limit nighttime lighting after the sun goes down. Louise Lacey wrote about the connection between the moon and the menstrual cycle in her book Lunaception: A Feminine Odyssey Into Fertility and Contraception.
Back in the day before artificial night lighting and night computer and tv time women menstruated with the new moon and ovulated with the full moon. The new moon, also known as the “Resting Moon,” is a natural time of rest, reprieve and replenishment-it’s a time to go inward. Exactly how I feel when I’m “on my Moon”.
The natural light from the full moon, on the other hand, provided some safety for night time travel and brought people out to gatherings and celebrations. During the full moon and ovulation, people tend to feel sexy, extroverted, creative and social. Women subconsciously dress sexier and are more flirtatious during ovulation.
Even Dwight knows that the menstrual cycle is linked to the moon cycle.
“Human sustenance and well-being are tied to the turn of the lunar wheel, and women are the cosmic keepers of the moon time” -Mother Tawari
In Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom Dr. Christine Northrup demonstrates how the moon cycle can correspond to our menstrual cycles in the diagram below.
Here is another excerpt from Fertility Awareness, Food, and Night-Lighting by Katie Singer: “Other clinical researchers have also found that sleeping in the absence of light (introducing it for a few days each cycle, or sleeping only in the absence of light) can help women in a variety of situations to strengthen their cycles.
- Women with anovulatory cycles have become ovulatory.
- Women with unclear mucus readings develop discernible, healthy mucus build-up.
- Cycles that had been very short (26 days or less) or very long (35 days or more) become 27-31 days long.
- FSH levels become healthy.
- Spotting at various times during the cycle is significantly reduced.
- Progesterone levels are strengthened.
- Women with a history of miscarriage are able to sustain pregnancy.
- Premenopausal women develop a more discernible mucus pattern; and the intensity of their premenopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, sleeplessness, and mood changes are reduced.” 3
Fertility And Sterility From the study titled Melatonin and the circadian system: contributions to successful female reproduction, “Both stable circadian rhythms and cyclic melatonin availability are critical for optimal ovarian physiology and placental function. Because light exposure after darkness onset at night disrupts the master circadian clock and suppresses elevated nocturnal melatonin levels, light at night should be avoided. 4
If you ask me, looking like a dork for a few hours each night is not a big deal when it comes to balancing hormones and getting a good nights sleep.
- Ayre, E. A. and S.F. Pang, “Iodomelatonin binding sites in the testis and ovary: Putative melatonin receptors in the gonads,” Biological Signals 3: 71-84, 1994. Abstract: Through the synthesis and secretion of the hormone melatonin, the pineal has been assigned the role of synchronizing a reproductive response to appropriate environmental conditions. Theoretical melatonin target sites may occur at several levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal hierarchy, including a direct action on the gonads.
- Kippley, John F, “By the Light of the Silvery Moon: Report #R2,” Couple to Couple League, 1976.
- DeFelice, Joy, R.N., B.S.N., P.H.N, The Effects of Light on the Menstrual Cycle: Also Infertility, 2000.