Full Moons and Migraines

The impact of the full moon on migraines, while not properly or thoroughly researched, is one that is generally accepted within the patient community. I have certainly noticed that the full moon brings an increase in severity of my migraines and have heard from others who share the experience.

There may be several reasons for why full moons result in a rise in migraine activity.

Hormonal shifts

Women’s menstrual patterns can cycle with the full moon (similar in length to the lunar phase) leading to a potential double whammy of hormonal shifts along with whatever impact comes along with the full moon itself. Hormonal shifts are a well-known trigger for many women who struggle with migraines.

Sleep challenges

Studies show that the full moon can alter sleep patterns. This can make it more difficult to both fall into and maintain a full night sleep. As we all know, disruption in sleep is a well-known trigger for migraines.

Emotional impact

The full moon has an impact on serotonin levels, a chemical in our bodies that regulates mood, among other things. Its imbalance could be the cause for the wide ranging reports from emergency rooms during full moons regarding the increase of incidences involving migraines, alcoholism, epilepsy, menstrual cycles, car accidents, anxiety, depression, sexual activity, homicides, insomnia and diarrhea.

Being proactive with migraine

With 70-80% of the human body being composed of water, it has also been proposed that if the gravitational force of the moon is sufficient enough to cause the oceans to rise, it may also affect our bodies.

With migraine triggers lurking around every corner, it can be tricky to keep track of them all. That said, the full moon is one trigger that we can anticipate. Proactively taking the full moon calendar into account might help us avoid migraine, or at least decrease its severity and/or frequency. For example, if you believe the full moon is a trigger for you, you might talk with your doctor about the idea of proactively ramping up your preventative treatment strategy in anticipation of the date. Additionally, you might use the calendar when planning in advance for a trip or other special event in an effort to decrease the likelihood of having a migraine.

For your convenience, here are the upcoming full moon dates for the near future:

2019 full moon dates

May 18
June 17
July 16
August 15
September 28
October 28
November 26
December 26

Does the full moon affect you in any way? If so, how? Have you learned ways to navigate around any challenges it presents to you?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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