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Does a full moon really affect sleep?

There are many things that can help you get a good night’s sleep: a comfortable bed, a glass of warm milk, a good book. But does any of that matter if our sleeping patterns are ultimately dictated by the moon?

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In short, yes. Planning your night and getting a decent amount of rest is essential if you want to avoid feeling grumpy, unfocused and sluggish. Limiting your exposure to computer screens, eating properly and sticking to a routine are all excellent ways to improve your night-time routine. If you’re still having problems, online pharmacists like Medicines2u supply a wide variety of sleeping tablets to aid you. There are also a number of fantastic apps and alarm clocks that will analyse your sleeping patterns, and wake you only when you feel rested.

 

So where does the moon come into this? We can all accept that our daily body cycle is affected by the sun: as it sets we inherently start winding down, and as it rises we start to awake.

 

Dr Silvia Frey, of the University of Basel in Switzerland, found compelling evidence that our sleep is affected by a full moon. In an experiment published by Current Biology, participants had their sleep patterns monitored while being shut away from moonlight. Both the volunteers and organisers had no idea the research was going to be used to observe the effects of the moon. The results showed that during a full moon, participants slept around 20 minutes less than normal. Observers also discovered that participants had a lighter sleep and, on average, took longer to nod off. The research deducted that human sleeping patterns are indeed affect by the moon.

 

This begs the question – why? Scientists theorise that it’s less to do with knowledge of the tides and more attributable to an inherited ancestral body clock. They believe that centuries ago, it was survival instinct to sleep less during a full moon. The lighter nights meant that we would have been in more potential danger from predators. We would sleep lightly, so it would be easier to wake up and react to danger promptly.

At this time, this is all theoretical and the moon continues to shrouded in mystery. If you need more advice on how to get a good night’s sleep, Help Guide has a very informative set of tips you can follow.