Blame the Moon for those Sleepless Nights

Many times, we have blamed the moon for someone's behavior.  Other times we have heard older people forecasting the birth of a child due to the full moon's effect.  Although many defend the term lunar effect, there is still not enough research to prove this phenomenon true. However, a recent study has confirmed that at the very least there seems to be an interaction of relevance between the moon and the quality of someone's sleep.

There are many people around the world trying different methods for getting a good night sleep.  Anything from special pillows to Lifestrength Wristbands or even other sleeping aids among the products commonly purchased.  Those who cannot sleep well at night though can blame it on the moon now.  This is according to the study performed at the University of Basel in Switzerland.  This research can now confirm that there are specific lunar rhythms that can have a direct effect on sleep in humans.

Christian Cajochen, a chronobiologist and sleep researcher from the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel grew doubtful as to why many people complain about not being able to sleep good enough every time a full moon came around.  After enough research and unexpected finding came about.  Cajochen explained, "The lunar cycle seems to influence human sleep, even when one does not see the moon and is not aware of the actual moon phase,"

Using 33 participants who volunteered for the research, the researches spent four years monitoring their brain activity, their eye movements, and hormone behavior while they slept.  The volunteers had similar profiles, as they were healthy people who did not do drugs or take any medication.

After putting together all the data collected through the years, they were able to determine that the brain activity tied directly with deep sleep decreased by 30% during a full moon.  The volunteers also lasted longer in being able to fall asleep and slept an average of 20 less during those nights of full moon.  They were also tested for melatonin and their levels had diminished around the same time. Melatonin is the hormone that helps regulate sleeping cycles.

"It took me more than four years until I decided to publish the results, because I did not believe it myself," said Cajochen.  "I was really skeptical about the finding, and I would love to see a replication."

Through time it has been seen that many animal behavior patterns are linked to lunar cycles. Coral sex for example is one of them.  Another example is the menstrual cycle in women.  So having said this we can only assume or believe that the effect that the moon has on humans follow the same line reactions and might have been used in favor of procreation back in the days of our ancestors.  Who knows?

The moon's gravitational pull is responsible for the tides in the ocean. That same gravitational pull happens on lakes and even on the human body. However if the body is affected by any circalunar rythms is due to the moonlight itself.  There is still research going on with this particular topic.  As Cajochen states, "It would be interesting to look at this in people still living outside without artificial light, but light from fireplaces"

 "Another possibility would be to test different moonlight simulations and their repercussions on sleep in the lab."

So there you have it.  Next time you cannot sleep, look out your window and if there is a beautiful full moon shining down on you, she might be the cause.

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