Changing Phases of The Moon and Their Effect on Women’s Mental Health
Humans have been tracing the moon since time immemorial and have associated several phenomena related to physical and mental health with different phases of the moon. The moon holds an auspicious position according to Indian traditions as well and is said to regulate our emotions, moods, sleep cycles, and even our relationships. Additionally in women, it also affects their mood and menstruation to a great extent. Moonlight has been used for certain health treatments too and is also known to cast a cooling effect on the mind facilitating a feeling of calmness.
Gravitational theory: The many beliefs regarding the moon spring up from the gravitational theory which says that the moon exerts a strong gravitational pull causing a change in direction of tides which is why we observe high and low tides. Similarly, as we humans are made up of 70% water, the changing phases of the moon supposedly affect us causing a fluctuation in our emotions and feelings.
Circadian patterns: A number of researches highlight that people experience a disrupted sleeping pattern during a full moon as our body’s biological clock is linked to the moon cycle. When this circadian rhythm is distorted, one may be at an increased risk of developing anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, or schizophrenia. Also, as a result of disturbed sleep schedules, people are prone to witness irritability, impatience, lowered concentration, and focus, and also an increased level of cortisol production (a stress hormone). It thus affects a person’s overall mood dramatically.
Menstrual cycles: Few researchers explain how women can keep their menstrual cycles in check using moon-charged water viz. simply placing a glass of water in the moonlight and then consuming it the next morning on an empty stomach. Doing so addresses the problem of hormonal balance in the body and helps overcome disturbed mental and emotional states. Even otherwise, moon-charged water is beneficial for health due to the calming properties of moonlight and fundamental lunar energy.
Other mental illnesses: Widely held notions suggest that there exists a relation between the moon and certain mood disorders and view aggressive or lunatic behaviors as a consequence of the changing phases of the moon. As per a study conducted in 1984, the rate of criminality increased on a full moon night and episodes of violence and behavioral disturbances also saw a 23% jump as per another research in 2009. Another study in relation to the moon and mental health elaborated on how an individual with bipolar disorder experiences a rapid shift from depression to mania during the lunar eclipse. Although these findings are true, more work needs to be conducted to support them explicitly.