Does a Full Moon Affect Sleep?
Folklore has burdened the moon with a myriad of responsibilities. The moon has always taken the blame for a bad mood to a higher crime rate. Even when we flip through the pages of literature, we see the same. In Shakespeare’s “Othello,” the maid Emilia tells Othello how the men are going insane because the moon has come too close to the Earth.
We, humans, have romanticized the moon and surrounded it with a sense of fascinating mystery. But is it true? Does a full moon affect sleep? Is there a connection between sleep and moon phases? Well, don’t worry! We are here with all the information you need. Keep reading.
Sleep and moon phases
From the reproductive functions of crabs to the nocturnal activity of owl monkeys, lunar phases may influence biological life. But does a full moon affect sleep patterns?
One sleep study showed that you might not enjoy a peaceful slumber like you usually do during the full moon. The participants took longer to sleep and even longer to reach the REM sleep stage. The sleep quality also dropped by almost 30%.
In another study, it was found that a full moon reduced the total sleep time by nearly 25 minutes. But here, the participants took longer to reach the REM stage during the new moon, unlike the previous study.
In a third analysis, researchers tracked 98 individuals residing in three indigenous communities in Argentina. One was a rural community with no access to electricity, one rural community had limited electricity access, and the third one was an urban society with full access to electricity.
The research spanned over a period of two months. Participants from all three communities displayed the same sleep behavioural changes according to the moon phases. Here, the participants stayed up late and even slept less in the three-to-five days period leading up to the full moon. The results suggested that human sleep is synced with the lunar phases despite the social or ethnic background or urbanisation.
So, if you are wondering why you can’t sleep during a full moon, maybe the moon is to blame after all!
Do the Moon Phases affect Sleep in Children?
How does a full moon affect a baby’s sleep? While there is no extensive research on the subject, few studies exist. In one of them, 6000 children from 12 different countries were examined. Their sleep duration was just 1% shorter during a full moon. In fact, in another study, it was seen that children slept more during the full moon!
Studies between moon phases and children have also been inconclusive. In one analysis, the researchers tried to establish a connection between the lunar Cyle, physical activity, and sleep. Even after collecting data for almost three years from 1,400 teenage participants, no solid evidence was found.
Why Would the Moon Affect Sleep?
If you want to know, ‘why does a full moon affect my sleep?’ the reasons are given below.
One of the reasons why the lunar effect takes a toll on your sleep can be because of the light it emits. It might impact your body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm. However, it is more predominant in communities with less access to electricity.
The electromagnetic properties of the Earth may also be a connection between the full moon and sleep. It is believed that when the planet passes through magnetotail, it becomes negatively charged. And it is seen that many humans are sensitive to changes in the magnetic field.
Another theory is that the moon’s gravitational pull might be the reason why sleep gets affected. The theory explains that the moon affects the ocean tide, and since the human body is made up of almost 60% water, it may be one reason. But there is no concrete evidence to support the same.
How the full moon might affect sleep?
Some reasons for how the full moon might affect sleep are mentioned below.
1. You may struggle to fall asleep
One of the adverse effects of a full moon is that it makes it harder for you to fall asleep. One analysis mentioned above showed that an average person takes five minutes longer to fall asleep compared to usual nights.
2. You may get less sleep on the whole
A full moon may lead to shorter sleep time, even if the moonlight doesn’t shine through the window. Infact, some also say that we may experience less sleep on the nights leading up to a full moon.
3. You may spend less time in deep sleep
A full moon may reduce the quality of your sleep, and you may not enjoy the deep sleep you usually do. But there is still no clear evidence of how the moon affects sleep.
How to Get Enough Sleep During a Full Moon
If you cannot enjoy a deep slumber during a full moon night, these steps below may help you!
1. Minimize Light
Keep the light dim and put your electronics away because this regulates your body’s internal clock and ensures it produces enough melatonin, the sleep hormone.
2. Try Something Relaxing
One of the best ways to enjoy a deep slumber is to try something relaxing before bed, such as;
3. Invest in a Comfortable Bed
Choosing the right mattress can be beneficial for sleep. Therefore, choose the firmness of the mattress according to your personal preference.
While some studies show a connection between the full moon and sleep, the evidence is still insufficient. However, if you are someone who gets affected by the full moon, you can try a few relaxation techniques to help you out!
Can a full moon cause anxiety?
No, a full moon doesn’t cause anxiety.
Does the full moon affect human health?
There is no real proof that the moon affects human health.
How should you sleep on a full moon?
You can try the techniques mentioned above on how to sleep on a full moon.
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