Everyone started their week on Sunday by setting their clocks back one hour for Daylight Savings Time. While gaining an hour in the day may seem like a bonus initially, there are several studies and documentation that show the changing of time can lead to several health issues.

An article published in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews stated, “The autumn transition is often popularized as a gain of one hour of sleep but there is little evidence of extra sleep that night.”

The article went on to explain that the time difference can result in the loss of sleep for the rest of the week. The journal stated that lack of sleep can lead to several other adverse effects such as a change in health and regular behaviors. Those who lack sleep are more likely to be irritable which can impact someone’s entire mood or mental health state.

The hour setback might not be the only reason people are finding it hard to keep their eyes open. The moon in the sky or lack thereof may also have something to do with it.

Nikole Ackley is the owner of the Spirit Holistic Center in Boyertown. The shop opened in 2016 and provides many products and services such as crystal healing, detoxes and massages. The center also has regular events such as the New Moon Ritual held at the shop on Wednesday evening.

Ackley said each month’s full moon and new moon have a special significance and different effect on people. She said a lot of it has to do with how the stars are aligned.

“It’s a tired time because you can’t get enough sleep,” she said. “New moons are really reflective times, a time to go inward.”

Ackley said it’s a good idea to use this time to purge and get rid of old patterns.

Attendees of the New Moon Ritual participated in several activities to rid the low energy effect of the cycle as well as to set positive goals for the future.

Ackley set the tone for the evening by burning the herb sage and doing a smudging ritual. The semi-sweet aroma filled the room and white puffs of smoke escaped the burning sage as Ackley lightly waved the herb around the space and over people in a cleansing motion.

Smudging is a traditional practice of indigenous people that involves burning medicinal herbs such as cedar, sweetgrass and sage. The ritual is intended to get people to slow down and center themselves, so they may let go of negative thoughts.

After the smudging at the Spirit Holistic Center, participants wrote down intentional goals by starting with the words “I am.”

“I am honoring my body,” said Sarah Mills, of Boyertown, out loud to the group.

She added, “My body will go through days where it’s just not at 100 percent.”

Mills explained that her goal is to no longer get burnt out on such days but to make sure she rest when her body tells her it’s time to do so.

Mills wasn’t the only person of the group that shared some of their goals with everyone. Many of the goals were similar often involving creating time for self and committing to healthier ways.

Ackley said the new moon does have the tendency to make people feel less energized, but the feeling may be heightened during this time because of the changing of the seasons.

“Seasonal depression is a very real thing,” she said.

According to an article published on the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health website, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is major depression that returns every season. It often happens during the fall and winter months. The “winter blues” as some call it, include feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability and more.

Ackley said she thinks this time is meant for people to face their fears and confront some of the darker truths about themselves. She added that once people acknowledge those thoughts then they can purge and create room for positivity.

“It’s a very slow, reflective time and if you’re not taking advantage of that then you’ll feel it,” she said.

Ackley said although this is a busy season for most with all the holidays, that it’s important people make time to relax and rejuvenate by doing something they enjoy.

For more information about the Spirit Holistic Center, visit the website at www.spiritholisticcenter.com or call 484-415-0550.

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