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Does The Full Moon Affect People With Dementia?

This belief that the moon influences behavior is so wide held—reportedly, even 80 % of nurses and 64 % of doctors assume it’s true, in line with a 1987 paper published in the Journal of emergency medicine—that in 2012 a team of researchers at Université Laval’s school of psychology in Canada set to seek out out if psychological state and also the phases of the moon are connected.

To test the idea, the researchers evaluated 771 patients who visited emergency rooms at 2 hospitals in the city between March 2005 and April 2008. The patients chosen complained of chest pains, that doctors couldn’t verify a medical cause for the pains. several of the patients suffered from panic attacks, anxiety and mood disorders, or self-destructive thoughts.

When someone has dementia, they’ll experience significant behavior changes as a part of their condition. This can be attributed to a variety of causes, it may well be symptoms of their dementia or other changes in their condition, it may well be due to changes to their medication, for some it may be as a result of changes in their surroundings.

Many people have heard of “sundowning” when it comes to dementia – where people become more confused, restless or insecure late in the afternoon or early evening – that is connected to the setting of the sun.

But will the moon also play a part in people’s behavior? yes, actually research has found that in some ways that it does.There are old wives tales regarding how the moon affects people’s moods. In some cases, it’s believed that the moon will “make people go crazy”.

Losing Sleep And more Aggression?

Though the suggestion that someone may be going crazy maybe a bit extreme, according to research the moon will have an effect on people’s sleep.

Sleep researcher Christian Cajochen, at the psychiatric hospital of the University of Basel in Switzerland, said: “The lunar cycle seems to influence human sleep, even once one doesn’t see the moon and isn’t conscious of the particular moon phase”.

It was found that, on average, people additionally took 5 minutes longer on the average to fall asleep, and that they slept for twenty minutes less overall on full-moon nights.

There’s a typical story that people become more aggressive throughout full moons, and one research even went to suggest that criminal activity increases throughout this point.

However, there’s very little modern analysis that supports this idea, particularly in the elderly. Aggressive behaviors in older people are more often because of an unmet need, or some frustration that they’re unable to communicate.

Overall, throughout the full moon individuals aren’t getting more aggressive however we are losing sleep.

But will The Moon have an effect on Dementia?

One research looked to see if aged care residents became more and more agitated throughout a full moon, but concluded that there wasn’t a major distinction to alternative phases of the moon.

However, another study by Alan M. Beck of Purdue University found that Alzheimer’s disease exhibited “significantly additional behaviors during times of full moon, which these behaviors were of a greater duration throughout the total moon.”

Though the research connecting the full moon and behavioral changes in people with dementia are often rather inconclusive, many folks have experienced challenges that they would connect with lunar changes.

It should be noted that the full moon will cause atmospheric pressure which might account for a shift in bodily awareness. for some individuals, the intense light shining outside may be disconcerting.

Regardless of whether or not the night has a full moon, new moon or something in between – people with dementia would like the same compassionate care on a daily basis for whatever symptoms they are exhibiting.

If you’re a caregiver for somebody with dementia, you’ve most likely seen some odd behavior in your loved one around the full moon. And if you’ve got trouble sleeping or feel restless or anxious throughout the full-moon, you’ve personally noticed the effects.

Here are some ways to calm the nerves and odd behaviors during the full moon or anytime.

From Calmer Waters: The Caregiver’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s & Dementia–“Aromatherapy” chapter 18 by Laraine Kyle Pounds, RN, MSN, BSN, CMT.

Aromatherapy is often a resource of comfort to you and your care partner by providing a straightforward, natural way to cut back stress and anxiety and uplift mood. the following oils are often used in a diffuser or place in a very bath or fragrance-free moisturizer. they’ll even be sprayed on a pillow or handkerchief.

Citrus oils are usually refreshing and uplifting for the mind and emotions, relieve stress and anxiety, and are helpful for odor management and appetite support. Consider bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, and orange.

Floral oils are usually used as a personal fragrance and are helpful to alleviate anxiety, depression, and irritability. These oils are helpful as an inhaler, in a body lotion, and for the bath. Consider clary sage, geranium, lavender, rose, and ylang-ylang.

Tree oils are revitalizing with immune-boosting properties, ease metabolic process congestion, and are supportive of breathing ease. they are helpful for pain relief, skin infections, and odor management, and might relieve nervous breakdown and depression. Consider eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora or globulus), pine needle, sandalwood, or Tea Tree.

Herbal remedies

A nervine is a plant remedy that features a beneficial effect upon the nervous system.  Nervines are particularly helpful throughout times of stress because they have a powerful relaxing and calming effect without producing a dulling, “hang-over” side effect.  They additionally tone and restore the nervous system to a more balanced state.  Some nervines are also anti-spasmodic, that means they relax the peripheral nerves and also the muscle tissue, that in turn has a relaxing result on the entire system.

The main types of nervines are tonics, relaxants, and stimulants.

Nervine Tonics – are particularly useful for strengthening the nervous system and restoring balance. in addition to having a soothing result, they have a vaso-dilating action on the blood vessels of the brain.  This will increase oxygen availability to brain cells and helps with mental gracefulness and mood.

Nervine Relaxants – are particularly useful for short-run use, for instance in treating mild depression or acute anxiety. “This group of nervines is most important in times of stress and confusion, alleviating several of the related symptoms. they must always be used in a broad holistic way, not simply to tranquilize. too much tranquilizing, even that achieved through herbal medication, can in time deplete and weigh heavily on the full nervous system,” says renown herbalist David Hoffman.

Nervine Stimulants– are used as a restorative “pick-me-up” once you want an energetic boost without that revved up feeling produced by caffeine.

Recommended nervines:

Passionflower- helps soothe anxiety, insomnia, tension headaches, muscle aches and spasms, pain, upset, epilepsy, and helps alleviate anger and lower pressure level.

Skullcap – is medicinal drug and relaxing and is recommended to relieve headaches, mood swings, insomnia, premenstrual syndrome, and nervous tension and exhaustion.

The next time you’re feeling nervous, agitated, restless or hyped up, calm your nerves with a nervine herb or aromatherapy. If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia and is on medication, please seek advice from the physician to make sure they do not interact with the nervine herbs.  Use pure essential aromatherapy oils to lower the risk of an allergic reaction.

If all else fails, you can always go outside and howl at the moon.

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