Full Moon Freakout: Study Finds Lunar Phases Matters

full moon photo

Lunar phases matters, a full moon means an unmistakable restless energy.

I’m proof positive that full moon freak outs are real. It was a gorgeous Friday night at the beach. I should have been relaxed, enjoying myself. But a nervous energy was weighing me down, making me question myself and others. It didn’t take me long to look up at the sky and figure out the culprit.

A recent study on lunar phases proves what I’ve long known to be true. A team of researchers in Sweden concluded that more people are sensitive during a full moon and sleep an average 20 minutes less. However, they’re likely to enjoy 30 minutes more REM sleep, the deepest phase of sleep. Additionally, researchers found that the brain is more vulnerable to external distractions.

“Our study generated findings similar to the Swiss project,” says Dr. Michael Smith, who has a PhD in Medical Science from Gothenburg University, reported in Mind Body Green. “Subjects slept an average of 20 minutes less and had more trouble falling asleep during the full moon phase. However, the greatest impact on REM sleep appeared to be during the new moon.”

Researchers observed 47 healthy participants between the ages of 18 and 30 as they slept in a sleep laboratory without windows, so they couldn’t be distracted by the light of the moon. The changes during the full moon were present in both sexes, though only men had trouble sleeping.

“The purpose of our original study was to examine the way that noise disturbs sleep,” Mr. Smith continues. “Re-analysis of our data showed that sensitivity, measured as reactivity of the cerebral cortex, is greatest during the full moon.”

However, the study, which was published in Current Biology,  included a really small sample which could impact the results. Even still, it’s all the more reason to blame your crazy conduct on the full moon like I’ve been known to do.

Related on EcoSalon:

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Set Your Calendar By the Moon

Image: Denali National Park and Preserve