Bad night’s sleep? Blame it on the moon

Bad night’s sleep? Blame it on the moon

Have you ever wondered what caused your bad night’s sleep? You might be able to blame the moon.

A recent study reveals that the moon’s cycle may actually disrupt sleep patterns.

The study, published in the journal Current Biology, followed 33 healthy men and women between the ages of 20 to 74 in a sleep lab. Researchers then connected the sleep data with the moon’s phases to find their results.

They found that total sleep time, the amount of deep sleep time and melatonin levels were at their lowest points when the moon was full. And these levels were highest when the moon was waxing and waning.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, melatonin levels released at night vary from person-to-person, but can be age-related. Melatonin is a natural hormone that your body produces from a gland in the brain. Melatonin contributes to a person being less alert and sleepier. As a result, when melatonin levels are higher, sleep is deeper.

The results were the opposite when they looked at the average time it took to fall asleep and the time to be at full REM sleep. It took longer for people to fall asleep with a full moon, on average 5 minutes longer and took a shorter time as it waxed and waned.

Christian Cojochen, lead researcher of the study said in a statement, the only explanation could be that, even though there is no direct evidence, there could be a lunar clock in the brain, which is found in other species like fish and other marine animals.

So the next time you blame your spouse, dog or noisy neighbor for a bad night’s sleep, you may want to check the moon.

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About the Author

Sarah Scroggins
Sarah Scroggins

Sarah Scroggins, health enews contributor, is the director of social media at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She has a BA and MA in Communications. When not on social media, she loves reading a good book (or audiobook), watching the latest Netflix series and teaching a college night class.