Sometimes women are compelled to do crazy things. Things their husbands will never understand. Thank goodness my husband is out of town this week.
I just spent an hour duct-taping 18 black trash bags over my bedroom window. And yeah, it was Hello Kitty duct tape. Because this is a girl thing, ya’ll.
The sun went down a little while ago. I just walked into the bedroom to check it out and it is so amazingly fabulous in there. As black as the deepest, darkest bottom of the ocean. There was only one little sliver of light coming in through the crack under the door, which will be rectified with a towel.
Look, I know black trash bags are ghetto. But I am a woman possessed. I went to buy some blackout curtains today but all the ones they had at Target were too short. So I have to wait and order them online.
But I can’t wait one more night. I must have complete darkness and I must have it now!
Why, you ask, am I suddenly obsessed with sleeping in total darkness?
Lunaception: How the Moon Can Balance Your Hormones and Make You Fertile
It’s called lunaception.
No, not lunatic-ception, as my husband would probably call it. LUNA-ception, meaning the moon + conception.
The book, Lunaception was published by Louise Lacey in 1974. The concept is that women’s menstrual cycles have traditionally been synchronized with the phases of the moon. According to Lacey, we should menstruate with the new moon and ovulate when the moon is full.
In the late 1960s, Louise Lacey, a writer, realized that being on the Pill took her body away from its natural rhythm. She went off it, and subsequently had very irregular cycles. She began reading about circadian rhythm and the sexual cycles of some primates, which suggested peaks of sexual activity relating to the lunar cycle. Lacey wondered if the moon’s cycles relate to human reproduction, and if so, how? She wondered if artificial lights interrupt the moon’s effect.
A newspaper article that reported the effects of night-light on the menstrual cycle then caught her attention. John Rock (the Ob/Gyn whose experiments with giving infertile women synthesized progesterone led to the creation of the Pill) and physicist E.M. Dewan found that women’s menstrual cycles became regular by sleeping in complete darkness Days 1-13, sleeping with a 100-watt bulb burning all night (under a lampshade in their bedroom) Days 14-17, and then returning to sleeping in complete darkness until the new period began.
Thrilled by the possibility that she could return to healthy cycles, Lacey tried variations on the above experiment, beginning in 1971. She also began to chart her temperature. She found that sleeping in complete darkness except for three nights each cycle (when she slept with a 40-watt bulb under a lampshade or with a 75-watt bulb beaming a shaft of light from a nearby bathroom (essentially mimicking full-moon light) triggered ovulation. She called the technique Lunaception, and found that it could be used to direct her fertility — and that of her women friends. By avoiding intercourse on the days they slept with light, Louise Lacey and 27 of her friends developed regular, healthy menstrual cycles, and used Lunaception to avoid pregnancy effectively until menopause. (Source)
Lacey says that when women practice lunaception, their cycles naturally sync up with the phases of the moon. She says that lunaception “optimizes your reproductive health”.
Why Practice Lunaception?
Even if we aren’t trying to get pregnant, we can use lunaception to prevent pregnancy. We can use also use lunaception to balance our hormones.
And who doesn’t want to do that? Who out there doesn’t suffer from PMS or hot flashes or what-have-you?
I personally want to try it because as many of you know, I’ve been trying to eradicate insomnia (it’s almost completely gone but I know that producing more melatonin can’t hurt). In addition to that, I have a strange thing happening with my period. I have light spotting for 5 or 6 days, then I have a very heavy flow with painful cramps.
I also have lots of other symptoms of low progesterone. I’ve looked into progesterone cream, and I think it can be a good thing but I’ve heard negative things about it as well. I’d rather try a more natural approach if I can.
And, last but not least, we are hoping to try for another baby this year. I’m 43, so who knows. It may be too late. But if it’s possible, we’d really like to have another child. Fellow Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader, Maureen Diaz, sweetheart that she is, hugged me at the recent WAPF conference and whispered in my ear, “I had my last baby at 45.”
According to Katie Singer, controlling the light when we sleep can help women in a variety of situations to strengthen their cycles:
- Women with anovulatory cycles have become ovulatory.
- Women with unclear mucus readings develop discernible, healthy mucus build-up.
- Cycles that had been very short (26 days or less) or very long (35 days or more) become 27-31 days long.
- FSH levels become healthy.
- Spotting at various times during the cycle is significantly reduced.
- Progesterone levels are strengthened.
- Women with a history of miscarriage(s) are able to sustain pregnancy.
- Premenopausal women develop a more discernible mucus pattern; and the intensity of their premenopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, sleeplessness, and mood changes are reduced.
Getting Back in Touch with Mother Nature
This whole thing makes perfect sense to me. Think about it. A full moon looks like a pregnant belly. Just like an egg, which is the very symbol of fertility.
I think it so cool to think that Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, has it all figured out. I can imagine a native American riding home on his horse, looking up to see a full moon and thinking to himself, “It’s baby making time!”
When I was at the Weston A. Price Foundation conference last month, I was having a conversation with flower essence therapist and clinical herbalist, Claudia Keel. We were talking about fertility and she was telling me that if you want a baby, you should take watermelon essence.
“Watermelons look like they’re pregnant!” I exclaimed.
“Exactly!” Claudia nodded enthusiastically. “There are a lot of plants and flowers in nature that look like what they do.”
The more I read and learn, the more I believe that so many of our modern problems are caused by the fact that we are so cut off from nature. For example, I’ve recently fallen in love with earthing, which is the theory that our bodies need physical contact with the earth. See my post: Can Walking Barefoot Lower Cortisol and Balance Hormones?
Lunaception is along these same lines. Women are the yin energy; men are the yang. Women are the moon, the mysterious, the unpredictable. Men are the sun, the obvious, the reliable.
It makes sense to me that we need the moon for our fertility and hormonal health.
How to Practice Lunaception
Nowadays, most of us live in cities and are not able sleep by the light of the moon. When I look out the window of our 4th story condo here in Las Vegas, I see miles and miles of twinkling lights.
If you live in the country, you may be able to leave your blinds open in your bedroom. But if you live in the city like I do, you can artificially simulate the phases of the moon.
If your cycle doesn’t match with the moon’s, keep your bedroom dark until your cycle matches the moon’s cycle. You will find you are likely to get into a match with the moon much more quickly that way. Then use the nightlight as above.
How will you do this?
First, you must find drapes or covers for your windows. They must be thick enough so that no light comes in, no matter the source. To test them at night, close the door, turn off the lights in the room and hold up your hand to the covered windows. Can you see your hand from the street light or passing cars? If so, the drape or cover isn’t thick enough.
Secondly, you must make arrangements so as to protect yourself from any lights that turn on or off during the night, such as any light that might shine through when someone opens the bedroom door. Those lights must have a red bulb, which you can buy at your hardware store. As with a normal fire, red lights will not trigger ovulation prematurely.
Third, you may need one red light in the bathroom, too, if it is anyone’s habit to turn a light on there at night.
Your bedroom now duplicates nature’s way. The only other manipulation of light is in mid-month. Put a small white nightlight, 15 to 25 watts, on the other side of the room. On the 14th or 15th day of the month, counting from the first day of your menstrual period, turn on that light before you go to sleep. Use it for three nights, and then don’t use it again until your next month.
Once you have made these preparations, the rest is easy! (Source)
I’ve made my preparations. And I can’t wait to get in bed tonight.
I’ll let you know how it goes!
What About A Sleep Mask?
I know people are going to ask so I thought I’d address this.
The answer is: No dice. In other words, it’s time to get our your trash bags and duct tape.
I have been using a sleep mask for a couple of months now to try to increase my melatonin production, to help me sleep better. I don’t know if it has helped or not.
There is nothing like that pure blackness that envelopes you when all the light is gone. There really is no comparison.
According to Louise, “Our ears, our mouth, even “the hole in our heads” as the Hopi say, must be considered. We simply have to have the room dark, period.” (Source: The Cellulite Investigation Blog)
How About You? Share Your Thoughts Below
Have you had success with lunaception? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.