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What is Lunaception?

I first heard about lunaception about a decade ago when I was struggling with secondary infertility due to hormonal imbalances and PCOS. The term was coined by author Louise Lacey who wrote a book about the subject in the 1970s. The author proposed that women could align their menstrual cycles to the moon cycles, thus regulating their periods, and in doing so making it easier to naturally achieve or avoid pregnancy.

Folklore states that when we are synced up to ovulate with the full moon and bleed with the new moon, this is an optimal cycle referred to as a "White Moon Cycle". A "Red Moon Cycle" is when women bleed with the full moon and ovulate with the new moon, and some sources attributed red moon cycles to those in the creative or healing practices such as midwives or medicine women.

I view lunaception as the practice of balancing hormones by controlling the light in the room where we sleep. A vast amount of our hormone production is done at night, and light in the room signals certain hormones to be released. Dr. Jolene Brighten mentions the importance of avoiding blue light two hours before bed and exposing ourselves to natural light upon waking to regulate our circadian rhythms, and thus our cortisol and melatonin levels.

Full moon: ovulation

new moon – menstruation

To balance your cycle with lunaception:

  • Sleep in complete darkness starting on a new moon.. Cover up any alarm clocks, electronics, and windows that allow in any artificial light. Absolute darkness is best, but if you live in a secluded area where there are no artificial lights you don’t have to be as stringent about covering the windows. If you get up at night to use the restroom, place dim nightlights in the hallway and bathroom to refrain from turning on overhead lights.

  • The day before a full moon, allow a small amount of light into the bedroom. Natural moonlight is best. If that is not an option, find a very dim, white nightlight. In her book, Louise Lacey slept with a 40-watt bulb under a lampshade or with a 75-watt bulb beaming from a nearby bathroom.

  • Three days later go back to sleeping in complete darkness until the next full moon.

If you currently have a regular or semi-regular cycle:

  • Grab a calendar and mark the first day of your last period as day one.

  • Count to day 14, as that will be the day you begin to sleep with light and continue for two more nights.

  • Go back to sleeping in complete darkness.

If you have a 28-30 day cycle

Keep following your cycle. Sleep with light in the room on days 14-16 of your cycle. If you have a cycle longer than 30 days

Number your calendar only to 30.

Sleep in light on days 14-16. Start numbering again at 1 after day 30, even if your period doesn't start that day. It may take a few months, but eventually your cycle should match. Making necessary lifestyle changes speeds up the process.

Have you ever heard of lunaception? Would you try it?

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