The effect of the moon on sleep
Sleep is one of the most vital things a person can do, But millions of us do not get enough sleep. Some of the factors that prevent us from getting enough sleep are obvious, and others, even if they have been disturbing human sleep for thousands of years, are less well known, mysterious, and controversial. Here we are talking about the moon and its cycles, which have long been studied to examine its possible effect on human sleep; But the results of such analyzes have been somewhat contradictory.
According to the Science Alert, In the new study, researchers claim to one of the largest studies of its kind, a group of scientists from sleep more than 850 people in Sweden, using measurements polysomnography (Polysomnography) under were the beginning and the duration and quality of sleep Set them overnight. These overnight measurements were also recorded in men and women over several years.
The recorded nights showed the different stages of the lunar cycle: when the new moon moved toward the full moon and the size of the visible and bright area increased, and when the moon moved toward the waning moon, its light diminished after the full moon. Given that humans usually sleep better in the dark, it is commonly thought that increasing the brightness of the rising moon, which goes toward the full moon or out, should be generally disruptive to human sleep. Some studies have proven this theory, But others have not been able to repeat it.
New research also seems to confirm that lunar cycles have a recognizable effect on human sleep, But not everyone is affected in the same way. “The neuroscientist and lead author of the study from Uppsala University says:
Men whose sleep was recorded during the nights of the increasing period of the lunar cycle showed lower sleep efficiency and increased waking time after the onset of sleep compared to men whose sleep was recorded during the decreasing period. In contrast, women’s sleep was not greatly affected by the lunar cycle.
While the results obtained from women did not generally indicate the effect of moon exposure on their sleep patterns, this effect was certainly not imperceptible. The women in the study slept an average of 12 minutes less on nights when the moon was rising than on nights when the moon was falling. Men slept less than 20 minutes less on nights when the moon was rising, and other signs of the moon’s effects were much more pronounced in men; Including a 4.3% reduction in sleep and wakefulness and more sleep disturbances during the nights when the moon was rising.
Because the research is observational, the authors do not claim that there is a cause-and-effect relationship here. “Our study cannot determine whether the relationship between sleep and the lunar cycle was a cause-and-effect relationship or just a correlation,” says Benedict. In other words, there is certainly something going on here that seems to be making a difference in people’s sleep, and this phenomenon coincides with the brightness and completeness of the moon on a given night.
It is difficult to determine the effect of this in a valid way. However, researchers are happy to be able to make hypotheses about this. They write in their study:
With each additional day in the ascending phase, the moon reflects more sunlight toward the earth and reaches its maximum brightness on a full moon day. The circadian rhythms that control the time and quality of sleep, in addition to light, are affected by non-light signals, including gravity. Therefore, the difference in the gravitational force of the moon during sleep between the increasing and decreasing phases may explain some of the differences observed in sleep.
Also, there may be geomagnetic effects that need further investigation. At present, however, the moon, which acts as a large mirror in the wrong place and reflects sunlight, seems to be the most logical explanation for the periodic sleepless nights.
The findings are published in the journal Science of the Total Environment .
The effect of the moon on sleep