1) Can you explain how astrology might play a part in our sleep patterns?
Yes! We all have a Sun sign - the common answer when someone asks "what's your sign?". Each of us also has the moon, all eight planets, and all twelve signs of the zodiac at play within our natal chart (the map of the sky at the moment we were born). This is our cosmic fingerprint, and is completely unique to us. Cool, right? I mention this to underscore the many factors worth considering when exploring sleep and how you may relate to sleep based on your personal astrology.
To get us started, let's take a look at our Sun + Moon sign combos. If you don't know your moon sign, don't worry! There are several resources online to calculate your chart for free in order to determine your moon sign, this is a very easy one to use.
The Sun represents the core of who we are, our driving force and our approach to life. Though our moon placement is extremely important, it is often overlooked as it represents the subtler side of ourselves, governing our feelings and emotions as well as our needs. The moon shows what we require to feel nourished, while the Sun gives insight into our approach in meeting those needs.
Read the following for both your Sun sign and moon sign, and blend the two. This will assist on your journey to finding your most ideal sleep practice.
- Aries -- Ruled by the planet Mars, you're not afraid to take charge, though all that potent energy needs somewhere to go or you'll continue burning on through the night. Rigorous exercise can be a great outlet to burn off steam, leaving you more at ease come bed time.
- Taurus -- You are Venus's child, and the most sensory sign of the zodiac. To ensure the most sound zzz's, go all out and create the ultra-luxe sleep zone dreams are made of. Think soft, plush and decadent--cashmere blanket anyone?
- Gemini -- You have an active mind, sharp as a whip, thanks to Mercury as your ruling planet. It may be difficult to turn off the activity upstairs when it comes time to wind-down however. Try stowing away electronic devices an hour before bed, and incorporate a breathing exercise to calm your nervous system.
- Cancer -- Sweet Cancer, you are ruled by the moon and thus are acutely attuned to it's movements. Like the moon ebbs and flows, controls tides and is oh so changeable, so it may be with your sleep patterns. Tune in and listen to what feels right each night. Cooking may be a nice wind-down ritual, or try a soothing epsom salt bath.
- Leo -- You burn bright, which is no surprise as the Sun is your ruler and guiding light. Your energetic nature does well to have a creative outlet during the day: dance, improv, work that keeps you engaged with others. This ensures that you're fulfilled and spent at the end of each day and ready to hit the hay.
- Virgo -- Ruled by Mercury, you're mentally agile, a master analyzer who perfects whatever should pass through your hands. Though all that detail can lead to an over-active mind come bed time. If worry keeps you up, try journaling or meditation to soothe your mind. As a health focused sign, an herbal tea or tincture is also a perfect night time ritual.
- Libra -- You have excellent taste and a keen eye for beauty, thanks to your planetary ruler, Venus. Imbuing your bedroom with your tasteful touch via design and decor ensures you'll be at peace when it comes time to wind down.
- Scorpio -- You're passionate, discerning and intuitive, when a topic piques your interest you dive deep. Your ruling planet, Pluto, imbues you with knack for excavation, unearthing the truth of the matter. To keep these deep thoughts from disrupting your rest, invest in some blackout curtains. A very dark room will signal the transition into rest mode and help to quiet your mind.
- Sagittarius -- You're energetic and a big thinker with Jupiter governing your sign. Physical activity, such as hiking in the open air, offers you space to contemplate your most expansive ideas while getting your movement in. Keeping active during the day gives your exuberant energy an outlet, ensuring it won't keep you tossing and turning when it's lights out.
- Capricorn -- Saturn is your planetary ruler, so you don't shy away from hard work - but you know how to play too! Watch a funny sitcom or stand-up on Netflix as a means of transitioning out of work and into your evening. Ensure a peaceful sleep by choosing a set time to put tech away - this guarantees you don't take work to bed with you.
- Aquarius -- You're idiosyncratic, and follow the beat of your own drum thanks to Uranus governing your sign. You're intelligent and inventive, ideas come to you quickly - as if riding on electric current - and you're always ahead of the curve on what's cutting edge. To calm your nervous system, try a tea with adaptogenic herbs. Also be sure to keep a journal stashed bedside in order to jot down brilliant ideas that come through in the middle of the night.
- Pisces -- With Neptune as your governing planet, you're empathetic, ethereal, and your sign rules the dream realm. As a Pisces you're quite porous, and may find you absorb much throughout the day. A cleansing routine, where you slough off the day such as a lovely bath with dead sea salts, or a meditation and mantra exercise may be just what you need to send you off into a restful sleep.
2) Do the signs need different amounts of sleep?
Generally, yes! Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) and air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) tend to be energetic and cerebral - they may find they don't need as much sleep as their earth and water sign counterparts, or that their sleep is perhaps a little more erratic. Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) and water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) are concerned with the more practical, tactile, and emotional tasks of the day - and thus may find they need more sleep.
Exceptions to this may be Virgos and Libras. Virgos are ruled by little messenger planet, Mercury. So they're on the go and in-the-know. Sleep is a practical necessity of course, they get what they need in order to get back to what thrills them - exploration of the world around them. Libras, while an air sign, are ruled by Venus. They're concerned with relationships and implementing what's fair -which takes a lot of energy. Of the air signs they're most likely to want and need more zzz's. Again, there are many factors to consider based on your chart, so synthesis of the whole should be kept in mind, use this info as a launch point and keep learning!
3) Is that true for morning routines as well?
Yes, though an interesting factor to consider for both morning routines and night routines is if you were born before or after sunset. It is said that for nighttime babies, the moon in the chart takes on extra significance. If born at night, you may find that you relate strongly to your moon sign, and may even be more of a night owl. The same would be true for daytime babies - relating more strongly to the Sun being above the horizon, and so more inclined to be early to bed, early to rise.
4) We're coming up on a new moon, how might that (and the other moon phases) affect sleep?
New and full moons signify the climactic points of the moon's cycle - deeply dark and flooded with light. I have a few clients who tell me they really struggle to get to sleep when the moon is full. There may be a few factors at play: the sky has much more light than at other moon phases, the full moon signifies culmination and is generally a celebratory time (so there's an excitement in the air), and of course, how your own personal astrology is relating to the current astrological climate.
5) What are some tips you could give someone who wants to begin incorporating astrological knowledge to their sleep/wake routine?
- Try the tips above for your Sun + moon signs as a starting point, they'll encourage you to tune-in to yourself and your intuition. Keep what works for you and leave the rest.
- Learn more about your personal astrology! You can use the chart calculator above to begin exploring your natal chart placements, but the best way to get started is to book a one on one session with an astrologer.
- Get a moon tracking app, I like iLuna. Did you know that the moon actually moves through every sign of the zodiac each month? An app like iLuna will tell you what sign the moon is in each day, and at what point in its cycle. The sign the moon is in sets the mood or tone for the day. This is helpful as you'll begin to notice if you have trouble sleeping, or alternatively, sleep really well when the moon is in a particular sign or stage of its cycle.
- Don't get caught up on what's considered normal, or what you think should do. For example: eight hours every night, bed by 10 pm, or rising early - this works for some, but not all. We are individual creatures with individual needs - trust what works for you. That may look like bedtime at 2 am and up at 10 am, or five hours per night, and that's ok! Of course learning about your personal astrology will deepen your understanding of your sleep needs as well.