Lunar Lights Out: 5 Ways to Make Sure the Full Moon Doesn't Mess with Your Sleep

5 Ways to Get The Best Sleep Ever, Even When the Full Moon Is Out5 Ways to Get The Best Sleep Ever, Even When the Full Moon Is OutWhenever things don't go right at my house, the moon gets blamed. The dog is acting crazy? Must be a full moon. Kids freaking out for no apparent reason? Full moon. Unexplained foul mood? Full moon. Bad night of sleep? Full moon, of course.

Sometimes, looking for a reason for the craziness, I'll actually check the calendar to see what the moon is doing. On occasion, the moon really is full on those days, but I always chalk it up to a funny coincidence rather than the moon really having any powers (especially because the dogs and kids act crazy most days, and bad nights of sleep are the norm around here). But it turns out that the full moon may really mess with your sleep.

A recent study showed that around the full moon, it took longer for study participants to fall asleep by 5 minutes, and total sleep duration dropped by 20 minutes. Those changes were associated with a decrease in subjective sleep quality and lower melatonin levels, too. Regardless of whether the moon actually has any effects on sleep, we've got five ways to improve your sleep no matter where we are in the lunar cycle.

1. Kill The Lights
Smartphones and the artificial lights from electronic devices have been said to disrupt sleep. It is recommended to avoid those bright lights from phones and tablets before bed (and if you must check your phone, do so at the dimmest setting so as not to disrupt your sleep).

2. Stay Consistent
Going to bed and getting up at approximately the same time every day reinforces your body's rhythms and may promote better sleep.

Related: You'll save money on therapy...and 7 more unexpected benefits of exercise

3. Block The Noise
Even the drip of a faucet can be enough to keep you awake, so block out unwanted and distracting noises, says the National Sleep Foundation. A consistent noise like a fan or a white noise machine can mean better sleep.

4. Cool Down
Make sure your room isn't too hot or too cold. Extreme temperatures can interrupt sleep. What's comfortable for one person may not work for another, so find the sleep temperature that works best for you.

5. Mattress Matters
Anyone who's ever slept on the floor next to their kid's crib knows that comfort matters when it comes to sleep. Mattresses should be replaced every 10 years or so. If it's been a decade since your last purchase, it might be time to get shopping.

- By Erin Whitehead
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