The Werewolf Effect: Design Solutions to Minimize Mood Swings

Last night (February 25, 2013) was the full moon.  I awoke at 4 a.m. and couldn’t fall back to sleep. Today I’m tired, moody and short-tempered.  People who experience violent or behavioral disturbances related to the timing of the full moon are said to have experienced the “Werewolf Effect”.   My Werewolf Effect may be related to sleep deprivation brought on by light infiltration.

Some people, like myself, need complete darkness in order to sleep deeply and comfortably.   Unfortunately, my bedroom has a skylight over the bed; glass block windows on three sides of the room, and five large operable windows.  I can pull the shades down on the large windows and close the drapes, but the glass blocks and the skylight allow light to filter in all night long.

When the moon is full, it feels like there is a spotlight shining into my bedroom.  It disturbs my sleep.  It has taken me a long time to discover the problem, and I’m finally taking steps to fix it.  Here are ways that you and your loved ones can avoid the Werewolf Effect:

1.  Use a sleep mask or eye pillow.

2. Turn off or remove night lights and hallway lights.

3. Use blackout draperies.  Make sure that they are overlapped when shut.

4. If you have a skylight or undraped windows, ask an interior designer for shades or fabric that can be hung in such a way that shields the moonlight.  Temporarily, my husband and I are going to cut pieces of foam core boards or perhaps cork boards to fit the glass block openings and decorate them with fabric to look like a design feature.  (They will be removable if we want to enjoy the sunlight during the day.)

5. If you remodel your bedroom, ask your architect to reduce or eliminate sources of outside light that cannot be shielded.

I plan to use a calendar that tracks the phases of the moon and compare my sleep patterns.  I may be able to cure myself of the Werewolf Effect with a nice dark bedroom.  Our architectural firm would be interested in hearing from anyone else who has experienced this problem and any steps you took to solve it.  You can enter a comment below, post to our Kastrop Group Facebook page, or send an email to info@kastropgroup.com.  I will compile the information and blog about it again when I get some good input.  Meanwhile, I need to go take a nap.

Lorianna Kastrop
The Kastrop Group, Inc. Architects

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