The moon’s cycles may have the power to affect sleep quality, according to the findings of a new US small-scale study. Researchers found that participants’ melatonin levels – a hormone crucial to the sleep-wake cycle – appeared to be affected by whether or not it was a full moon, and sleep was disrupted as a result. During nights where it was a full moon phases, the thirty-three test subjects found it harder to sleep – taking on average five minutes longer to fall asleep and sleeping an average of twenty less overall.
As the participants were sleeping in a lab, researchers were also able to look closely at brain activity. It was discovered that levels dropped by around 30% on full moon nights, raising potential implications on sleep effectiveness.
On each of mornings following a full moon night the participants, who represented both sexes and a diverse range of ages, complained of poor sleep quality.
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