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In this episode, Stacy is convinced that her body and hormones are affected by the moon. What will Sarah say?
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The Paleo View (TPV), Episode 299: Does the Moon Affect Stacy’s Mood?
- Intro (0:00)
- News and Views (0:40)
- Stacy was at a Beautycounter conference this past weekend.
- While the conference itself was great, the part that was amazing was meeting some incredible women in person that she’s been working with for over a year.
- Stacy minored in women’s studies, so helping a team of women to succeed an achieve their goals has been a long-time dream come true for her.
- While she is successful at her day job and enjoys it, it never directly empowered women for a greater cause, which is what her work with Beautycounter has helped her to do.
- Stacy was bawling all weekend, realizing she was part of something bigger and had helped other women find their power and their voice, and was part of a mission that matters.
- Stacy’s Burning Question for Sarah (8:01)
- Stacy has been feeling very connected and affected by lunar cycles, which is a weird thing for her to say out loud. After some research, she found information supporting a link to mood and hormones. Lunar cycles are known to affect bodies of water (ie: the tides) and humans are made up of mostly water- so Stacy wants to know, what does the science say related to how the moon affects humans?
- There has been a lot of interest in the circalunar cycle, especially in the last 5-10 years.
- We have a circadian rhythm, which keeps track of our 24 hours in the day.
- It syncs our brain with the “clock” that is in every one of our cells.
- There is seasonal variation as well- changes in physiology based on the season.
- We don’t really fully understand circalunar rhythms.
- These cycles are much stronger in marine animals.
- There are observations based on rhythm on a 29.5-day cycle.
- Spawning, gonad growth, reproductive cycles, etc.
- Research is starting to identify some genetic components to these circalunar cycles.
- It is analogous to our circadian rhythms- outside stimulus that influences internal factors.
- There is a good scientific foundation of mechanism and molecular mechanics of the circalunar rhythms.
- There are behaviors and physiology changes in humans that have been linked to the moon.
- The old saying “must be a full moon.”
- There have been some rigorous studies looking at things like birth rate and fertility and phases of the moon.
- These two things have not been found to be correlated in the science.
- There are studies in schizophrenia showing a small increase of violence or aggressive episodes during a full moon.
- There is also a possible correlation between seizures when thy sky is brighter, not necessarily when the moon is full though.
- A study done in 2013 looked at the lunar cycle and sleep quality.
- It showed more deep sleep during the full moon.
- A study that tried to replicate the data didn’t get the same results.
- It is not tidal effects on humans, as we are an incredibly small amount of water.
- Tides in the ocean, versus tides in some of the largest lakes in the world.
- Lake Superior’s tide change due to the moon is about 3cm.
- Humans are a ridiculously small amount of water compared to this.
- It could have to do with the amount of light at night being greater during a full moon.
- We tend not to evolve useless things.
- Our photoreceptors could be good multi-taskers as well.
- We have completely messed up how our body detects moon light, and messed up our circadian rhythms by having lights on at night, spending too much time inside, screen time, etc.
- Indoor lights is a large disruptor of sleep.
- The bright sun is between 400-130,000 lux.
- The full moon is 0.25 lux, and half moon is 0.025 lux, starlight is 0.0001 lux.
- We’re supposed to have a very dim light signal in the evenings.
- Indoor lighting is between 200-300 lux.
- Street lights or heavy traffic is about 75 lux.
- Smartphone and tablet screens are 30-50 lux.
- There are so many sources of light that we are never in a nighttime environment.
- We don’t have the ability to sync with the moon anymore.
- We’ve probably destroyed our ability to study circalunar rhythms in humans.
- When we do learn more about circalunar cycles, it is unclear how that would inform what we can do in our modern lives to make up for it.
- Right now we can eat a nutrient-focuses diet, have a rigid bedtime, spend time outside, take activity breaks during the day, use a treadmill desk, nurture in-person relationships, etc.
- It is challenging to get rid of nighttime light and is unclear what impact it would have on our health.
- Ultimately, Sarah is saying that there is evidence that circalunar cycles are a real thing, but they are driven by nighttime light, not tidal forces.
- Stacy still believes that the moon makes her super emotional!
- We as a population have a strong cultural bond to the full moon, which can be a driving force.
- The moon is actually getting farther away from us- the light at night and tidal forces used to be stronger.
- It could have had a bigger impact back in this time.
- The most hope for understanding a link between human physiology and human behavior and the lunar cycle is not in big population studies but in a basic understanding the mechanism of circalunar cycles in sea urchins and corals, and then trying to identifying if those pathways were preserved in mammals.
- Stacy is not putting this to rest yet- she’s going to be on lunar-watch!
- Listeners, Stacy needs your emotional support!
- Please comment and share your particular superstitions with us!
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