When you sync your schedule with the lunar cycles, you’re actually following practical advice.

A few years ago, I read a post by a focussed, successful business expert about how he harnesses lunar cycles to set intentions and objectives. When there is a new moon, he sets 2 or 3 intentions to enrich his personal and business life. By the end of each 29-day cycle (give or take a day) seeds for new habit are sown and have taken root.

You can believe that lunar cycles are accompanied by a unique pattern of energetics – inspiration, action, and surrender – that can be tapped into to enhance your life…or not. It still works.

There is lots of information on the Internet about lunar cycles, even some that recommend setting your intentions according to the astrological sign with which the moon conjoins. Again, you can believe this or simply ponder the principles of the astrological sign as an archetype. The new moon is currently in Libra. Libra’s symbol is a scale for balance and who among us can’t use a little more balance in our lives?

What matters is setting a new intention every month and making our lives a little bit better with new, supportive habits. Whether we call these intentions, goals, wishes, objectives doesn’t matter.

We know that we can steer life’s ship to our own true north – the life we dream of creating – when we set markers for guidance.

For centuries, farmers successfully planted according to lunar cycles. The new moon signified a time of growth: if you wanted your hair to grow faster, cut it when the moon is new!

Sleepytime Club is going to focus on one sleep-supportive habit each new lunar cycle. Personally, this helps me more than starting on Mondays or the first of the month. I associate those days with red flags – lots of oughts and tasks – and would prefer to take a breath before setting a new intention for my health or productivity.

If the oceans respond to the waxing and waning of the moon and not the first of the month, that’s good enough for me.

The new moon occurred on October 13th, but that doesn’t mean we can’t jump on board and set a new intention now.

Here is the sleep supportive new moon intention for this cycle: reduce screen time for yourself and your kids. Particularly 2 hours before going to sleep. That means if your children’s bedtime is 7:30, TV is off at 5:30.

Screen time constitutes TV, tablets, e-readers, computers, smart phones. Even the compact fluorescent lighting and LED bulbs emit more blue light than the old–fashioned incandescent bulbs.

I know it won’t be easy, but short-term and long-term health benefits will be huge.

Before we start with going to bed by candlelight…let’s just start with screen time.

The blue light in all those screens reduces melatonin almost instantaneously. Children get in the habit of picking up a gadget rather than increasing social cognition. Studies indicate a reliance on screens and techno gadgets change the cellular structure of the brain’s hippocampus – that part of the brain involved with memory and emotional processing.

And what happens during sleep? We process the events of the day, learning from them.

Reliance on screens is just a habit – a habit that can be easily substituted with better habits. Children learn the importance of brushing their teeth and eating their vegetables – why not nurture respect for sleep? The results are teens and young adults who are healthier, happier, and eager to learn and engage with the world.

What to do instead?

• Read Sleepytime Club’s post on “Don’t Let SpongeBob Squarepants Be Your Babysitter”
• Linger over post-meal discussions (for families balancing different activities schedules, make that “meal” dessert) and share events of the day.
• Learn important life skills together – like cooking,
• Set up a “parking lot” and charger station for the family smart phones.
• Collaboratively write a family media plan and contract, posting it where it’s visible.
• Kids love rituals. Set up a ritual for each day of the week: Monday we cook together, Travel Tuesday – create a dream travel book for the family; Writing Wednesday – how many family members would love to hear from you! How many “thank yous” would you like to offer?
• Stay informed! Get Sleepytime Club’s Bedtime Blueprint for a better night’s sleep tonight.

…and how about taking a family walk after dinner each night to observe the moon and learn about lunar cycles? It would only take 15 or 20 minutes and you are connected to natural world and your neighborhood.

You can get coloring pages and information about the lunar cycle at Enchanted Learning and many other sites.

I’m joining in this new moon intention to stop mindless screen time 2 hours before I tuck myself in. I know well that there are neurological systems in my brain that will be clinging on to the old habit with vigor. However with daily gentle persistence, by the time the new moon in Scorpio rolls around, I’ll have slept better and learned a few more things.

Now all this doesn’t seem too woo woo, does it?

Are you ready? What are your thoughts about setting a new moon intention? Please post below.