Does a FULL MOON Make You Sleep Less?
This weekend brings the Full ‘Buck Moon’ as bucks begin to grow velvety antlers. It’s also known as the ‘Thunder Moon’ due to summer’s thunderstorms.
Usually, on weekends, we tend to stay up a little later. But will you stay up later than normal because of the Full Moon?
Things can seem to get a little strange during a full moon anyway. Studies have shown there is a higher risk of being bitten by an animal, a higher risk of having an aneurysm, more motorcycle fatalities, and there’s an increased birth rate when there’s a Supermoon – when the gravitational pull is at its strongest.
In a paper published earlier this year by Science Advances, sleep timing studies were conducted with the lunar cycle from people living in areas that ranged from a rural setting with and without access to electricity in indigenous communities in Argentina to those in a highly urbanized setting in the United States. They found that in the days leading up to a full moon, people go to sleep later in the evening and sleep for shorter periods of time.
The results showed that sleep started later and was shorter on the nights before the full moon when moonlight was shining at night.
It takes 29.5 days for the moon to cycle through its phases. Plus, the gravitational pull of the moon on the Earth is at its max every 14.75 days, during full or new moons.
That study says that for those people living in a rural area where there is less (if any) light pollution -- during a Full Moon – they’ll go to bed around 2 hours and 20 minutes after dusk. But during a New Moon, those in rural settings go to bed, on average, 14 minutes earlier.
As for those living in urban areas – where there is more light pollution – they’ll go to bed more than 2.5 hours after dusk and sleep just over 7 hours and 45 minutes. During a new moon, there is only a few minutes difference.
A separate study by Current Biology also found that in the days leading up to and after a full moon, participants took five minutes longer to fall asleep and had 30% less ‘deep sleep.’
Also, the moon appears in a different part of the sky each night as it makes its way around Earth, which affects the timing of moonrise and moonset – a change of about 50 minutes each day.