Women’s cycles are very much connected with the cycle of the moon. Both are roughly 29 days (although a healthy menstrual cycle can range from 25 to 35 days in length). Additionally, with bodies that are made up of a majority of water, the moon exerts a pull on us similarly to the way it effects the tides. Before the advent of electricity and increased night-time night exposure, the majority of women ovulated at the time of the full moon and menstruated at the time of the new moon, when the sky is dark. A proportion of women did the opposite, menstruating on the full moon and ovulating on the new moon.
Women who are not on hormonal contraceptives that dictate their cycle and who limit exposure to light after dark often come into alignment with this lunar rhythm again.
In fact, simply managing the amount of light you are exposed to after dark and while you sleep can be a powerful tool for regulating your cycle and eliminating all sorts of so-called period problems.
Issues Caused By Too Much Light Exposure
According to Joy DeFelice, one of the leading researchers on light exposure and changes in the menstrual cycle, even minimal light exposure at night, particularly while sleeping, can cause cycle irregularities, and irregular cervical fluid patterns in particular.
In one clinical study, she found that the following issues were often triggered, at least in part, by light exposure:
- No dry cervical fluid days after the period and shortening cycles
- Fertile cervical fluid takes a long time to reach its peak
- Cervical fluid presence is patchy and stops and starts again leading up to the peak day
- Mid cycle spotting
- Short luteal phase (time between ovulation and the start of the period)
- Anovulatory cycles (in which ovulation does not occur)
- Very irregular cycles