What influence has the full moon on sleep? A recent study shows how the moon phases affect the duration and quality of sleep. Full Moon shortens the sleep and reduce its quality. Men are more affected than women, and therefore are more “lunatics”. The origin of this phenomenon is rather mysterious. Further, more about the influence of the moon on sleep.
Did you sleep well last night? What about last night? Do you remember how you slept on november 6? On November 6 was full moon, and if you had trouble sleeping, you are not an isolated case! You’re not lunatics or vampires… :), the moon is the one that affects our sleep! This is the result of some recent studies that have taken seriously a possible influence of the full moon on the night break.
It seems that everyone suffers when the moon shines in the sky and floods us with its candid and pale light. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, studied a total of 47 volunteers while they were sleeping: recorded their brain activity and other characteristics related to how they slept. The study was conducted over several nights, including full moon nights. What was the conclusion? The duration of the full moon nights sleep was reduced by about 20 minutes; in addition, the study ones had trouble falling asleep and the sleep quality was lower than in the dark nights.
Another study in Switzerland shows how the full moon nights we sleep 5 minutes later, while we go around in bed waiting for Sandman. Deep sleep phase is reduced by about 30% and lowers melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep.
Is it the fault of the larger amount of light passing through the windows?
The answer is negative. Changes in sleep have nothing to do with the increased amount of light from the full moon nights. This was confirmed given that both studies described above were conducted in rooms without windows. So the volunteers who participated in the sleep studies had no visibility on the Moon. Another interesting result is the one that showed how men are more sensitive to this kind of phenomena than women: are the ones who suffer more in terms of duration of the time to fall asleep and in terms of the total duration of sleep. As a kind of biological clock linked to the moon would be functioning within us, and regardless of whether we see or not the Moon, is acting on the body.
It is assumed that the origin of this phenomenon would be found sometime in the distant past of the people. Early humans were in danger in the full moon nights as predators could identify them more easily. It would be developed an internal mechanism that made the light-filled nights the sleep to be lighter and shorter; were those nights where every move could be a danger. Our ancestors had no easy life; not endowed with extreme physical force had to develop mechanisms to protect them and help them to survive. These include sleeping. The fact that men are more affected than women can be explained considering that they were more exposed to dangers, as the hunt often extended over several days, so full moon nights were most dangerous for men than for women.
The concrete way in which this mechanism could act is unknown; how our body is synchronized with the moon is not known. We have specific receptors? Do we feel the force of gravitational attraction exerted by the Moon? Or is it something else?