Feeling Cranky? Some Studies Suggest You Can Blame the Moon
Were you able to catch a glimpse of the incredibly beautiful super blue blood moon on January 31, 2018? We hope you did – for some people, it was a once in a lifetime event! Even if you didn’t, you still may have noticed some unexplained changes in your temperament that night.
Well, it may not be entirely unexplained. Researchers even suggest that there’s convincing scientific evidence proving how changes in the moon can actually affect all of us!
The Effect of Celestial Events: Is It Really Just a Phase?
How many times have you heard someone say, “There must be a full moon out there” when trying to explain weird things that happen at night? For whatever reason, people have connected full moons and seemingly supernatural happenings for centuries.
To our knowledge, no one was used as a guinea pig and turned into a werewolf on the night of that super blue blood moon. The science, however, is still fascinating because both animal and human physiology are subject circadian, seasonal, and lunar rhythms… But to what extent?
Why You May Feel “Off” During This Celestial Event
In a 2006 study from Poland, researchers found very interesting correlations between animals and the lunar cycle:
- Early hormonal changes in insects
- Reproduction in fish
- Decreases in melatonin in birds
- Effects on taste sensitivity and the structure of pineal gland cells in laboratory rats
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Although many researchers acknowledge the need for further studies, they have seen correlations between the lunar cycle and human reproduction (e.g., fertility, menstruation, birth rate) and melatonin levels.
Many people believe these lunar changes occur because our bodies are composed of up to 80 percent of water. Similar to how the moon’s gravitational pull affects the tides, the water levels in our body may also fluctuate.
But seeing as the moon causes the tides to rise and fall each and every day, it doesn’t seem fair to compare small amounts of water in the human body to massive bodies of water around the world. In that case, let’s take a look at what science has to say the moon-induced changes so many people are talking about.
The Science-Backed Effects the Moon Can Actually Have on People
A study in the Journal of Environmental Health Insights explored the effect of the moon’s gravitational pull on the frequency of births between 1966 and 2000. Researchers analyzed 1007 consecutive births without the use of induction agents.
To their surprise, they found that “there was a significant increase in the cases of births, when the gravitation of the moon to the earth was less than 31.5N.” While more studies like this one are needed, it does suggest that the moon’s gravitation has an influence on the frequency of births.
In a 2013 study published in the journal Current Biology, scientists found evidence that the lunar cycle influences human sleep and can keeps people awake. After losing enough sleep, you can feel tired, cranky, and maybe even start getting headaches or migraines.
Around the time of a full moon, data showed that “electroencephalogram (EEG) delta activity during non-rapid-eye-movement (NREM) sleep, an indicator of deep sleep, decreased by 30 percent, time to fall asleep increased by 5 minutes, and EEG-assessed total sleep duration was reduced by 20 minutes.”
Researchers associated participants’ loss of sleep with diminished internal melatonin levels. So, if you want to sleep well on those full moon nights, make sure to drink and eat melatonin-rich foods. Check out the links below for some good recipes:
- Cherries, Almonds, and 5 Other Foods That Will Put You Right to Sleep
- How to Use a ¼ Teaspoon of Nutmeg to Fall Asleep and Relieve Your Insomnia Symptoms Overnight
- 4 Drinks to Have Before Bedtime to Improve Sleep and Help Burn More Fat
 Zimecki, M. (n.d.). The lunar cycle: effects on human and animal behavior and physiology. Retrieved February 06, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16407788
 Wake, R., Misugi, T., Shimada, K., & Yoshiyama, M. (2010). The Effect of the Gravitation of the Moon on Frequency of Births. Retrieved February 06, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2956479/#!po=50.0000
 Evidence that the Lunar Cycle Influences Human Sleep. (2013, July 25). Retrieved February 06, 2018, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982213007549
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