Full Moon could disturb a peaceful night’s sleep, according to scientists.
Researchers got evidence of “lunar influence” during study of thirty-three volunteers who were supposed to sleep in strictly controlled conditions of laboratory.
When Moon was there, volunteers took more time in nodding off and they had comparatively poorer sleep quality, despite being enclosed in one darkened room, say the Current Biology report.
Also they had dip in the levels of hormone that’s called melatonin and which is linked with the natural cycles of body clock.
When it’s dark, body makes increased amount of melatonin. When it’s light, less is produced. Sleeping on mattress one can help with sleepless nights.
Having exposure to the bright lights during evening or very little light in the daytime could disrupt the normal cycles of melatonin in body.
But work by Prof Christian Cajochen in the Current Biology and the colleagues from Switzerland’s Basel University, suggests that Moon’s effects might be unrelated with its brightness.
The Lunar Rhythms
Volunteers were pretty unaware of purpose of this study and they couldn’t see Moon from the beds they were in the sleep lab of researchers.
All of them spent 2 separate nights in lab under very close observation.
The findings showed that around full Moon, the brain activity that is related to the deep sleep decreased by around a third. Levels of melatonin also dipped.
Also, the volunteers took 5 minutes longer in falling asleep and they slept for twenty minutes less at the time there was full Moon.
According to Prof Cajochen: “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.”
According to researchers, some people might be very sensitive to Moon.
This study didn’t originally set to investigate lunar effect. Researchers had plan of doing lunar analysis many years later.
They did go back to the old data of theirs and they factored in that whether there was full Moon in those nights volunteers slept inside their lab.
Dr Neil Stanley, the sleep expert in UK said, in spite of this, that small study did appear to have some significant findings. He said that there was such strong and famous cultural stories regarding full Moon it wouldn’t be surprising when it would have any such effect. Now, he said, it is on science to get to know the cause behind sleeping differently at the time of full Moon.