Do You Struggle To Sleep During A Full Moon? A Scientific Explanation
Published in May 2019 / Updated in Aug 2021
During the full moon, human behavior tends to feel different from the ordinary, according to science. At these times, we tend to get easily irritable, anxious and experience changes in our sleeping patterns.
In a study carried out by Psychiatric University Hospital at the University of Basel, Switzerland, researchers have proven that the moon is responsible for the alteration in our sleep pattern.
The research discovered that the full moon causes a 30 percent decrease in electroencephalogram (EEG) delta activity during NREM sleep, which is a factor of deep sleep. This leads to an increase of five minutes in the time we fall asleep and a decrease in sleep quality.
The study also found that melatonin level lowers up to four days around the full moon, compared with other lunar phases. As a result, the moon will affect our sleep four days before and after the moon is at its brightest.
The participants in the study were observed to sleep 19 minutes less during the full moon than when the sky is in its darkest, new moon.
Researchers also found that melatonin levels decrease during the evening with full moon due to more evening light. This is because our body’s daily and seasonal rhythm changes together with the universe’s patterns. So, if the world alters, our body alters also.
It was discovered that the link between the moon and sleep is “mysterious.”
The researchers explained that:
“There are probably large individual differences that underlie the contradictory evidence for their existence—some people may be exquisitely sensitive to the moon.”
Being unable to sleep well during a full moon doesn’t depend on our consciousness that the moon is full. The glows from the sun can be intense such that our bodies and minds may not receive clear signals that it’s time to deep sleep.
Although bright summers may influence our sleep patterns, most people feel affected by the moon due to their high sensitivity to light energy. So, when powerful energy radiates from the moon, the “light sensitive” individuals are likely to be altered by the moon’s glow.
Human retinas are sensitive to blue light. During the full moon, people with hypersensitive cones in their eyes can detect blue cones on the moon. A phenomenon called blueshift.
The blue-light input is more intense during the full moon. This will affect our circadian rhythm, which releases melatonin responsible for our deep sleep.
Melatonin is also linked to physical activity, hormone levels, alertness, body temperature, digestive activity, and immune functions. Thus, light-sensitive people experience a direct impact on sleep patterns and energy levels.
Another reason why we experience a disruption in our sleep patterns is the use of artificial light. This light confuses our natural body rhythms if we’re absorbing both light types at the same time.
Because of this, you’re likely to feel irritated and perplexed due to exposure to the mixture of two light sources. You can even feel frustrated, unable to relax, or deep sleep.
Most people use full moon periods as a moment to relax outside underneath the moon and stars. This will rejuvenate their minds and body. So even if they fail to get enough sleep, they’ll still wake up feeling refreshed.
The planet is situated between the moon and the sun during the full moon. This leaves us in the middle of powerful energy forces and the gravitational pull from both directions.
This is why ultra-sensitive people will feel conflicted and a little out of control when the moon is full because our body energy is being pulled in opposite directions.
It is recommended to stabilize our energy during the full moon by drinking filtered water, minimizing the use of technology, abstaining from caffeine and alcohol.
Spending time in natural environments such as underneath the moon at night will also help you relax and improve your sleep quality.