Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Full Moon Affects Human Sleep Patterns

It's been a popular topic in fiction for many years - the affect of the moon on human behaviour. Whether it's werewolves howling at the moon or split personalities emerging, action always seems to follow a full moon.

So it may not be of a huge surprise to many, to learn that new analysis of a sleep study from 10 years ago, shows significant differences in our sleep patterns on full moon nights.

Between 2000 and 2003 researchers conducted a study on the sleep patterns of 33 participants. In the study, the subjects were kept indoors for days at a time, away from any sun or moonlight, and observed sleeping, to examine human's regular sleeping patterns.

After Dr Cajochen, a biologist; and his team, came across this study recently, they dissected the document to find out what the moon was doing whilst the investigation was going on.

The Moon in varying stages, shown on a night's sky
Can the moon affect our quality of sleep - even when we can't see it?
After some number work, they discovered that the study showed the following facts about the participants on Full Moon nights:
  • They slept around 20 minutes less.
  • They took 5 minutes longer to fall asleep.
  • They reported a poorer night's sleep.
  • Delta waves (an indicator of deepness of sleep) were 30% lower.

Concluding that the full moon does indeed affect the quality, and way that we sleep. 

Perhaps this is nature's way of telling us to stay up late and enjoy the moonlight more?