Full Moons and Migraines
The impact of the full moon on migraines, while not properly or thoroughly researched, is generally accepted within the patient community. I have certainly noticed that the full moon brings an increase in the severity of my migraines and have heard from others who share the experience.
There may be several reasons why full moons result in a rise in migraine activity.
How is menstruation related to the moon?
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 with the full moon itself.1,2 Hormonal shifts are a well-known trigger for many women who struggle with migraines.
How are sleep patterns affected?
Studies show that the full moon can alter sleep patterns which can make it more difficult to both falls into and maintain a full night's sleep.2,3 As we all know, sleep disruption is a well-known trigger for migraines.
How do lunar phases affect serotonin levels?
The full moon impacts serotonin levels, a chemical in our bodies that regulates mood, among other things.4 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.
Is water composition in the body a factor?
With 50-70% of the human body being composed of water, it has also been proposed that if the moon's gravitational force is sufficient enough to cause the oceans to rise, it may also affect our bodies.4,5,6
How can you be proactive with migraine?
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 for a trip or other special event in an effort to decrease the likelihood of having a migraine.
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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