The word “lunatic” (luna, means moon) was originally used to describe a person that went crazy in a cycle, based on the moon’s phases.
I can relate to this, as every time a full moon lights up our skies, my fiancée goes a little bit crazy.
Naturally she blames it on the moon. In fact she is convinced that the moon directly influences her behaviour and told me that she will often experience the following symptoms around the time there is a full moon.
- Feeling of being uptight
- Struggles to sleep
She tells me, that even if she doesn’t know that it’s a full moon, she will have a feeling that it is. On these occasions, when she checks outside, sure enough, there it will be – a full moon.
Me not so much, I don’t feel any different when there is a full moon, nor even tend to really notice them.
This prompted me to ask the question:
Does the moon affect our moods and behavior?
For years mankind and the moon have had a relationship that borders on the supernatural.
In the 1700’s it was normal to blame such things as epilepsy on the full moon.
Some folks still believe today that because the moon affects the tides, and humans are full of water, the moon directly affects our bodies.
Numerous studies have been done cross referencing crime and/or accident rates with full moons.
The results are confusing to say the least. Look at this one, clear evidence of a moon effect, you would think..
Chanchall Bhattacharjee and colleagues at the Bradford Royal Infirmary in Bradford, England, reviewed 1,621 patients admitted to the infirmary’s emergency room between 1997 and 1999 for animal bites and found that the chances of being bitten were twice as high on or around full-moon days.
Compare that study with this one however…
Simon Chapman at the University of Sydney in Australia compared dates of admission for dog bites to public hospitals in Australia with dates of the full moon over a 12-month period and found no positive relation between the full moon and dog bites.
Two separate studies, on both sides of the world. One shows a clear link to a moon effect, the other shows no correlation at all.
Another recent hospital study also showed no relationship between the moon, and medical issues or accidents.
It is said that the reason people blame the full moon for so many things, is because people always remember when it was a full moon.
If something happened and there was a full moon you would point that out. If the same thing happened and there was no full moon, then it would fall below the radar.
When no artificial light is present, the moon lights up the sky approximately 250 times more than with no moonlight.
Is it possible that in the past, before there was so much artificial light, a higher number of incidents took place on nights of a full moon due to the extra light?
Does the moon affect your period?
It is often believed that a woman’s menstrual cycle, and the lunar cycle, are closely connected.
They are in fact similar, with the average menstrual cycle being 28 days, and the lunar cycle is 29.5 days.
Apart from that, there is no proven link between the two.
That doesn’t of course stop some people believing that menstruation and the moon are directly related.
Nadia MacLeod from Menstruation.com.au says:
Women are connected to the moon by our blood, our hormones and our souls.
Is there something science isn’t telling us yet?
As human beings we are often fooled into thinking just because something can’t be proven it isn’t so.
This is not necessarily the case however to be taken seriously it is important to try to show the facts of why something is the way it is, along with substantiated proof.
We don’t have this proof of any relationship between menstruation and the moon.
Does the moon affect your dreams?
Studying dreams can be difficult at the best of times. As you can imagine figuring out what effect, if any, the moon has on dreams is next to impossible.
A recent study of 1000 participants that this dailymail.co.uk article refers to apparently showed that the volunteers had strange and bizarre dreams, while under the influence of a full moon.
Psychologist Richard Wiseman said:
For instance, someone might dream that they are flying on a dragon, then get off the dragon and go and have a cup of coffee with George Clooney. Some people dreamt they were superheroes.
They thought they were Batman or Superman, fighting crime. Whereas most dreams were very pedestrian, things like being in the office all day, typing.
The findings build on Swiss research last year which found we take longer to fall asleep, sleep for 20 minutes less and sleep less soundly at full moon.
Convincing proof however? Not at all.
Does the moon affect sleep?
A study published in the current biology journal found a link between the full moon, and the amount of sleep participants in the study, managed to get.
University of Basel’s Dr Silvia Frey said:
Our findings are the first that point to the existence of a circumlunar clock in humans, but nobody has pinpointed it yet in the body.
We expect it works at a molecular level and in the brain, possibly in the hypothalamus, the same part that regulates the circadian rhythm – the body’s own internal clock.
She went on to say that it is likely a protective feature brought about from our caveman days. Back then the light of a full moon, meant a higher risk of being eaten by predators.
So when it comes to sleep, it appears the moon does have a minor effect, whether or not this will still be a factor for future generations is yet to be seen.
So… does the moon affect our moods or not?
The answer to whether or not the moon affects our moods comes down to whether or not you get moody on less sleep or not.
If you do, and science has shown us that the moon can affect our sleep patterns, then yes the moon can affect our moods.
What do you think? Does the moon affect you at all?