When we think about the full moon, we often consider the many superstitions that have made the moon infamous; such as werewolves. Whether you are the superstitious kind or not, science has, in fact, confirmed that the full moon takes its toll on our health, mood and even behaviors. But what exactly are these influences and how will they affect you the next time the moon shines brightly?
Your Sleep Cycle
Do you ever feel as though you don’t sleep as well in the lead up to the full Moon? If so, you’re far from being alone. According to a Swiss study published in the scientific journal Current Biology, this celestial body does indeed influence our sleep.
Researchers studied 33 people’s sleep cycles in a laboratory over several days. They discovered that during the four days leading up to and following the full Moon, they didn’t sleep so well. As well as taking an extra five minutes to get to sleep, participants slept for 20 minutes less and their deep-sleep phase was reduced by 30%. Their levels of melatonin, the sleep hormone, were also lower.
Your Menstrual Cycle
This is one of the best-known effects of the Moon on the human body. Given that a woman’s menstrual cycle lasts for an average of 28 days, and that a lunar month lasts for around 29.5 days, it’s easy to leap to conclusions. But what does science say?
A 2011 study published in the scientific journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica looked into the question. Researchers studied the menstrual cycles of 826 women aged between 16 and 25 and discovered that around 30% had their period during the full Moon. This is not the majority of women. However, it does suggest that the Moon might play a role.
The full moon can also lend an increased sense of energy, which each sign of the zodiac handles differently. For instance, a Leo would react much differently to the energy of a full moon than would a Virgo. “Leo loves the full moon because Leo is all about passion and creativity and enthusiasm,” Dr. Perrakis says. “Leo is constantly craving access to bigger energy, so at the full moon, you’re going to see Leos being extremely outgoing, extremely enthusiastic, [and] possibly creating something new. Leos tend to be very entrepreneurial and so they take that full moon energy and put it towards new ventures.” The dark side of those qualities, however, is that a Leo can become overly enthusiastic to the point that they are overbearing and bossy. A Virgo, on the other hand, enjoys the increased energy brought on by the full moon because it allows them to increase their work productivity. “Virgos love to get organized and they love to prioritize and they find that extra energy helps them get more work done.” Whatever your sign, you need to read these genius organization tips you’ll wish you knew all along.
Your Blood Pressure and Veins
Because the Moon controls our planet’s tides, some believe that it has the same effect on our bodies as they are mainly made up of water. As a consequence, veins are “congested” when the Moon is brightest in the sky.
People with certain health problems such as varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and venous insufficiency suffer more, therefore, during a full Moon. It would be interesting to see the scientific take on this question because, to date, there has been no serious study into the issue.
If you need surgery, it might be best if your procedure is scheduled during a full Moon. A 2013 study in the medical journal Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery found that patients who underwent emergency heart surgery had a lower rate of mortality on evenings when there was a full Moon.
They also had a shorter recovery period. They remained in the hospital for 10 days, four days less than average.
Your Labor and Delivery
Are maternity wards inundated during the full Moon? Not necessarily, if we’re to believe a Japanese study. Researchers studied 1,000 births in a Kyoto hospital to find out whether the Moon had any influence. They discovered that the Moon had no influence on the birth rate except in one specific case: during a supermoon when the satellite reaches its closest point to Earth. It’s only during supermoons that doctors recorded a higher number of births than average.
Everyone has both light and dark inside them. Positive or negative, the full moon takes your strongest qualities and enhances them. The full moon has a way of bringing both sides out into the open. “In the literal sense, what the full moon does is expand and it magnifies everything.”
Is bleeding more likely during a full Moon? According to a Spanish study, there is a correlation between cases of gastrointestinal bleeding and the phases of the Moon.
More research needs to be carried out, however, as this study is contested in the scientific world. For the moment, then, you can assume that your chances of cutting yourself are no higher during a full Moon than at any other time.
To date, only one recent study has looked at the question of libido. The dating site Smartdate noted an increase in people registering on their site during the full Moon. More “scientific” studies need to be carried out, however, to determine if it is true.
In the animal kingdom, there’s only one species that is known to base its reproductive cycle on the Moon. This animal is the grunion – a fish – that uses the Moon’s power over the tides to lay its eggs.
An extensive body of research has looked into whether a full moon may lead to epileptic seizures. A Brazilian study published in Epilepsy & Behavior analyzed sudden deaths from an epileptic seizure over 8 years. It found that 70% of the deaths occurred during a full moon. Another study published in the same journal found that a full moon had no effect on epileptic seizures but was associated with an increase in nonepileptic seizures.
And then a 2013 investigation found that web searches related to epilepsy increased 11% during the full moon. But then again, those web searches might not indicate actual seizures. The researchers suggest the moon’s brightness leads to sleep loss, which keeps people up at night searching the web for information about anything in general. Similarly, a 2008 review of seizure data found that the increase disappears when there’s cloud cover, suggesting the moon’s brightness is the culprit and not its phase.
Although some people might blame their irritable mood on the Moon, there have been no studies to prove that the Earth’s satellite can make us more aggressive. However, a study published in Psychological Reports in 1986 did find a weak correlation between violent schizophrenic episodes and lunar phases. Researchers found that violent or aggressive episodes among people suffering from schizophrenia increased by 1.8% during a full Moon.
Source: Awareness Act