Can’t Sleep? Is The Moon To Blame?


Have you ever witnessed changes in yourself at night during the period of the full moon? No, we’re not talking about turning into a vampire– we’re talking about alterations of your sleep.

A recent study from Swedish researchers has uncovered a connection between our sleep patterns and the moon’s lunar phases, particularly during the full moon period. Their study involved 47 healthy adults. Study analysts realized sleep was delayed by about 25 minutes, on average, during the the full moon. That’s not all: they also realized that sleepers were more susceptible to sleep disturbances during the full moon. When the new moon rolls around, researchers saw that sleepers spent 30 additional minutes, on average, each night in REM sleep. When their sleep was analyzed, volunteers slept away from direct exposure from moonlight; this helped eliminate illumination as the potential reason of sleep disturbances or sleep pattern alterations.

These recent discoveries line up expertly with former research that connected changes in sleep to lunar cycles. Last year, Swiss study analysts released results from a study that similarly concluded sleep time decreased during the times near the full moon. During that study, study subjects’ sleep duration decreased by a 20 minutes, on average, whenever the full moon came around. Sleepers needed roughly five extra minutes to pass out during each full moon phase. EEG activity measurements further witnessed a 30 percent drop in the brain’s delta waves, which measures deep sleep.

The connection between moon cycles and human sleep patterns aren’t always seen, though: a German study looked at the link between moon phases and sleep, and concluded totally different outcomes. Using 1,265 study volunteers, scientists evaluated a total of more than 2,000 nights of sleep searching for evidence of links between moon patterns and alterations in sleep habits. However, they didn’t find any correlation! This research also carried a much bigger sample group than other lunar-sleep investigations that uncovered results indicating lunar impacts over sleep.

That means there’s currently a lack of scientific consensus regarding how moon phases could impact our sleeping lives. So, before you go blaming the moon for your seemingly incurable insomnia, wait a little while longer for scientists to agree on whether this phenomenon even exists. There is one thing that’s more known, though: the impacts of the moon on both our sleeping and conscious lives will fascinate scientists until a final consensus is reached.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of russell harris

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