Victoria Hall

We’re Hitting Peak Age Later Than You Think

peak-age

Even if you’re not a tennis fan it’s likely you will have heard about the men’s final match at Wimbledon this year. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic battled it out for the men’s title and made history not only for the length of the match – it lasted for almost five hours and is the longest men’s final in Wimbledon’s history – but also as it was the first time a tiebreak at 12-12 had happened. While Djokovic won the match and took the title at Wimbledon for the fifth time, Federer received a lot of attention and praise for his stamina. Read More…

Can A Full Moon Really Affect Your Health?

full moon

Whether you’re someone who reads their horoscopes every week religiously or you dismiss them as vague captions that could be interpreted in hundreds of ways, there can be no denying that astrology is becoming increasingly popular. With a full moon on 14th September, you can expect plenty of full moon rituals and astrological predictions to fill your newsfeeds. For those who don’t keep up-to-date with the position of the moon, we’re in the midst of Virgo season and the full moon, also known as the Harvest Moon, falls in the sign of Pisces this month. According to astrologers, it’s the time to refine your organisational skills and put plans into action.  

While you could write this off as gobbledygook, it might interest you that the scientific world has been exploring how the lunar cycle affects our health for years. Admittedly the studies have been small and few and far between, but there is enough to continue the research and attempt to separate the science from the folklore. 

Are menstrual and lunar cycles linked?

With both moon and menstrual cycles lasting around 28 days, it’s easy to see why the two have been linked in the past. ‘Mooning’ is still a term used by some when they’re on their period and there are apps that will track your menstrual cycle along side the moon’s. A tiny study in 2005 found that women who ovulated during the full moon and fell pregnant at this time were more likely to have sons. However, the concept of aligning your menstrual cycle with the moon’s is tricky as lifestyle, genetics and hormones play key roles. 

Can a full moon affect our mood?

For years there have been whisperings of the full moon altering people’s moods. A three-month psychological study of 1,200 inmates at Armley jail in Leeds in 1998 found that the number of violent incidents spiked during the days either side of a full moon.

Ten years ago a study monitored the amount of patients admitted to the Psychiatric Emergency Care Centre at Calvary Mater Newcastle in Australia. Out of the 91 patients with violent and acute behavioural disturbance, 21 occurred during the full moon, which equated to twice as many compared to other lunar phases. Two year prior to this, the police force in Brighton employed extra officers during full moons after they carried out research which found there was a rise in violent incidents.

Before you get carried away and start to fret about your mood dipping and anger levels rising this weekend, it’s important to note that all of these studies were very small and more recent research by the Eastern Ontario Research Institute ruled out any impact on behaviour. The study focused on the effects a full moon had on the behaviour and sleep patterns of 5812 children from five continents over the course of two months and concluded that it had no impact on the former.  

“Our study provides compelling evidence that the moon does not seem to influence people’s behavior,”  said the study leader, Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput. The only significant finding was the 1% sleep alteration in full moon.”

What about our sleep patterns?

Dr Chaput isn’t alone in his findings. The most credible study on sleep and lunar phases took place in 2013 and suggested that the amount of deep sleep we get each night can drop by around 30 percent at the time of a full moon. According to the University of Basel in 2013, not only does it take five minutes longer to drift off, but we can lose up to 20 minutes of sleep a night. Interestingly, the study ruled out the effect of light causing the sleep disruption by asking participants to sleep in a windowless room. They did note a drop in melatonin levels around the time of a full moon, which would explain why you might find it harder to fall asleep but not why to dip in levels occurs. 

However, at least come the next full moon you can ensure you don’t miss any sleep by incorporating Cherry Night by Viridian into your evening routine. Cherries can help top-up your melatonin levels and help you to drift off regardless of the position of the moon.

PHB Ethical Beauty: What You Need To Know

PHB Ethical Beauty

‘Clean beauty’ isn’t a phrase that many people like because it is very vague in its definition. We are willing to go out on a limb and hazard a guess that PHB Ethical Beauty is a brand that most people would consider ‘clean’. It’s natural, organic, vegan-friendly, Halal certified, the majority of its packaging is recyclable and the brand donates 20% of its net profit to charity. Read More…

Can An App Really Improve Your Focus?

Focus App

Breaking news alerts, social media and messaging apps are usually the vices that subconsciously have us checking our phones two, three, four, sometimes five times an hour. Last year, we spent over three and a half hours on our phones on average every day. Most of us are reliant on them for getting us from A to B, dividing restaurant bills and keeping us in touch with the office. For some, the low battery warning or loss of signal can send anxiety levels spiralling. Read More…

The Molecule That Could Reduce Your Anxiety

anxiety

Ever heard of neurotrophin-3? We hadn’t either up until a couple of weeks ago. But, if you regularly battle with bouts of anxiety then it’s a molecule worth learning about. According to a new study neurotrophin-3, or a lack of it, plays a key role in how and if we respond to outside threats. Read More…