A full moon may not induce howling, but new research suggests it might keep us up at night.
I blame the odd sleepless night on plenty of things: the neighbours’ crying baby kept me up; raccoons rustled in the trash; I had to finish the last few chapters of that one book. Turns out, the real culprit might have been mooning me the entire time.
The lowdown on sleep and the lunar cycle
Scientists in Switzerland have found that the full moon’s influence may go beyond its role in cheesy werewolf movies. According to researchers, lunar changes also affect our sleeping habits. Study participants slept for 20 fewer minutes on the night of a full moon and reported feeling groggy the next morning.
Participants’ awareness (or ignorance) of the current moon phase didn’t seem to change the results. Sleep was also less restful on a full moon night for both indoor and outdoor sleepers. Researchers suggested that the pull of the full moon may have been even stronger for our ancient ancestors—who somehow managed to survive without the computer monitors and backlit smart phones that now (artificially) light up our lives.
How to sleep better—even on bright nights
If you find yourself tossing and turning—especially on August 20th, the next scheduled full moon—it might be the perfect time to try these tips for rest that’s actually, well, restful: