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Mysteries of Moon & Mind – Dr. Horacio de la Iglesia & Dr. David R. Vago Explore with Sadhguru

Dr. David Vago: Thank you so much for being here with us, Sadhguru. It's lovely to be with you again, yes. And also Horacio De La Iglesia, thank you so much for being with us today. We want to talk about… set the stage a little bit about what we're here to do today. The idea is that the lunar cycle, the moon can influence people's behavior. This idea dates back thousands of years, right, but it's been largely dismissed by modern science and medicine. I get the lunar cycle has… is clearly impacting cycles like human reproduction, I think it's very accepted that it influences the menstrual cycle and fertility in that way. But there are other behaviors, right, that have been also been found to vary depending on the lunar cycle, but that are slightly less believable. Admittance to hospitals and emergency… emergency rooms have been shown to vary frequency of conditions like heart attacks and stroke. And even the social interactions, you know, human behaviors of… things like traffic accidents or crime, suicide, have all been reported to be correlated with the phase of the moon. Yet, whether moonlight or the gravitational forces that accompany this massive space rock and whether it can influence human activity at all remains controversial. So, let me make some introductions, and then we'll get right into the discussion. My name is David Vago. I am a Research Associate Professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt… at the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, Vanderbilt University. I maintain a research appointment at Brigham and Women's Hospital, where I collaborate with the Department of Psychiatry. And I've more recently become the research lead for Round Glass, a global health and well-being company, where I am building research infrastructure and creating evidence-based content. So today we have this opportunity to discuss the wisdom of contemplative traditions that are thousands of years mature – not old, mature – and modern science which is providing new evidence describing the relationship between this big rock in the sky and our planet earth. So we're going to have this dialogue of how historical yoga sutras and philosophy describe the relationship between these two planetary orbs and how they influence each other – also from the perspective of modern science. And it turns out that there is evidence indeed that the moon can influence aspects of our mood or decision-making and our behaviors. And so over the next hour, I will try to moderate a discussion while I introduce some of the science from contemporary sources, from the research lab of Dr. Horacio De La Iglesia and from the wisdom of contemplative traditions like yoga that Sadhguru will share with us. So just to give you a sense of who… who is speaking today, Dr. Horacio De La Iglesia finished his undergraduate studies in biology at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. He got his PhD in neuroscience and behavior at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he studied neuro… the neuro anatomy of the master circadian clock of animals and the brain centers that control reproduction and the interactions between the anatomy and reproduction. He then continued his research as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and later joined the University of Washington in the Department of Biology in 2003. His laboratory is interested in understanding how the neural systems encode time and generate rhythmic physiological and behavioral outputs to adapt to the temporal structure of our environment. We are going to only have an hour together today because Horacio will be receiving a prestigious award from the Argentina… (Overlapping conversation) Sadhguru: Oh, congratulations (Laughs). Dr. David Vago: …Ministry of Science and Technology are acknowledging him and his work, so we will have to say goodbye little early, but we're so excited to have you with us. Thank you for joining us, Dr. De La Iglesia. Dr. Horacio: Thank you, David and Sadhguru for having me. Dr. David Vago: While Dr. De La Iglesia raises his volume, I’m going to introduce Sadhguru, a man who really doesn't need much introduction, but he is a yogi, a mystic, a visionary – named one of India's fifty most influential people, Sadhguru's work has touched the lives of millions worldwide through his transformational programs. Sadhguru has a unique ability to make the ancient yoga… yogic sciences relevant to contemporary minds. He's an internationally renowned speaker, he engages with scientists fairly often, and has been an influential voice in major global forums including the United Nations and World Economic Forum, addressing issues as diverse as socioeconomic development, leadership, and spirituality. He's been invited to speak at leading educational institutions including Oxford, London Business School, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, all the big institutions. So we're really fortunate to have this group of people today. And I will do my best to moderate the discussion. So, thank you, Sadhguru, for being here and being with us today. Sadhguru: Thank you, on a day like this when you're having an award, having this conversation, wonderful, and congratulations once again. Dr. Horacio: Oh, it’s a pleasure, please (Sadhguru laughs). Dr. David Vago: I thought I'd start the conversation off with a… from a paper that Dr. De La Iglesia recently wrote about synchronization of human sleep with the moon cycle under different conditions. And he says right, in the… in the introduction, and I will read that, and I'd love to hear your comments. “Moon light is so bright to the human eye that it's entirely reasonable to imagine that in the absence of other sources of light, this source of nocturnal light could have had a role in modulating human nocturnal activity and sleep. However, whether the moon cycle can modulate human nocturnal activity and sleep, really at all, remains a matter of controversy.” So maybe you could tell us a little bit more about what is this controversy, why is there… why is it not clear, how the moon…? Dr. Horacio: Yeah, so… so it turns out that there had been some studies looking at sleep recordings from sleep laboratories in which they have found an effect of the lunar cycle on the electroencephalographic recordings of sleep. However, you know, that was a retrospective analysis of sleep stages in people that happen to be in the sleep lab at different times of the lunar cycle, so it wasn't what we call a longitudinal study of the same individuals throughout the lunar cycle. And there was controversy because other studies emerged that said, "Well, this is not a real effect," and the jury was still out in terms of whether the moon could… you know, moon phases could really modulate sleep. And I guess what our study added to that is that we did exactly that – we followed single individuals for at least one month and up to two months, recording their sleep, at least their sleep timing. And that allowed u

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