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Regimen of Light Which Replicates Moon Cycle Regulates Ovulation and Menstruation

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The Earth at night is no longer the dark and quiet retreat into solitude that it once was.  The bright lights which illuminate the pattern of humanity’s footprint upon the globe are distributed across each continent and combined emit enough light to significantly affect the biological world around them.

Although the need for artificial light in populated areas is beyond question, there are also adverse effects of night time light on flora and fauna as well as on humans. For example, it affects the foraging, reproductive and migration behaviour of a number of nocturnal animals such as insects, bats, amphibians and birds. Furthermore, it changes prey-predator relationships, affects animal natural rhythms, disrupts physiological processes in plants and adverse effects on the human metabolism have also been found.

den Outer, P et al.  Intercomparisons of Nine Sky Brightness Detectors. Sensors (Basel). 2011; 11(10): 9603–9612.

Researchers at the University of Hawaii have found that exposing mouse embryos to blue light, that is light at the cooler end of the spectrum, has a profoundly more negative effect on their development than either warm white light, similar to the colour temperature of natural daylight, or not exposing them to any light at all.

In today’s busy modern world women are increasingly suffering from more irregular menstrual cycles and greater fertility problems.  The effect of a night-time light regimen which mimics that of the waxing and waning moon has been studied since the 1970s for its effect on female fertility cycles with positive results.  The US Air Force was involved in much of this research and was assigned a patent in 2002 for a process of light stimulation for the purpose of entraining preselected biorhythms in women.

There are many benefits to having a regular menstrual cycle; increased fertility, balanced hormones, the ability to plan ahead for holidays without being surprised or caught short, greater accuracy and reliability in using Natural Family Planning methods for either contraception or trying to conceive and the peace of just knowing that your body is working in the manner in which it was intended.

A California-based company called Parhelion Labs have licensed the patent for a process to improve menstrual cyclicity in women using just such a regimen.  They have developed both a device and an iPhone app which women can use to mimic the light from the moon.

The Luness is a computer-controlled device which, with minimal input from the user, provides a precisely metered dose of light, at a specific time during the night and on a schedule which closely replicates the natural rhythm of the moon.  The device contains an LED which shines light up onto the ceiling and a light sensor which measures the amount of light reflected back into the room, with the device adjusting the intensity of the LED based on that information to calibrate the light to accurately replicate that of the natural moon light.

Preliminary research has found that this regimen helps women to regulate their ovulation and menstruation and helps both men and women to experience a better night’s sleep.

Luness has provided the author with a sample unit to test and the results will be published later this year.

More Information:

Arcady A. Putilov; Konstantin V. Danilenko; Alla Y. Protopopova; Daniel F. Kripke, Menstrual Phase Response to Nocturnal Light, Biological Rhythm Research, Volume 33, Issue 1 February 2002 , pages 23 38.

Danilenko, K. V., & Samoilova, E. A. (2007) Stimulatory effect of morning bright light on reproductive hormones and ovulation: Results of a controlled crossover trial. PLoS Clin Trials 2(2):e7. doi:10.1371/journal.pctr.0020007

den Outer, P et al.  Intercomparisons of Nine Sky Brightness Detectors. Sensors (Basel). 2011; 11(10): 9603–9612.

Dewan, E. M. “Effect of Photic Stimulation on the Human Menstrual Cycle” Photochem Photobiol., 1978 May;27(5):581-5.

Lin, M. C., Kripke, D. F., Parry, B. L., & Berga, S. L., Night Light Alters Menstrual Cycles, Psychiatry Res. 1990 Aug;33(2):135-8.

Takenaka M , Horiuchi T , Yanagimachi R Effects of light on development of mammalian zygotes (2007) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:14289–14293.


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