Health Tip – Oct. 21 – Can’t Sleep? Blame the Moon
It may sound far-fetched, but Swiss researchers have published a study demonstrating that the quality of sleep can change with lunar cycles. Investigators at the University of Basel analyzed the sleep of more than 30 volunteers in two age groups in the sleep lab.
While study participants were asleep, the research team monitored brain patterns, eye movements and measured hormone secretions. After reviewing all the data, the study team concluded that both the subjective and objective perception of sleep quality changed with the phase of the moon. Of note, they found that around the time of a full moon, brain activity in areas related to deep sleep decreased by 30 percent and that participants took five minutes longer to fall asleep, and slept for 20 minutes less than usual.
Tests also showed lower blood levels of the sleep regulating hormone melatonin when the moon was full. Modern life and electric lights may routinely mask the moon’s influence on us, but in the controlled environment of the laboratory, the effects of the moon become visible and measurable,