Some people are quite sensitive and very much dependent on the conditions like outdoor temperature, wind strength, various other weather conditions, including even Sun and Moon phases. The phenomena of being dependent on the lunar rhythms with our sleep cycles has been known and studied by many researchers, and the findings regarding this issue were quite opposing. Some scientists believe that most of us do not have risks of suffering from sleep disturbances due to changing Moon cycles, but some researchers are convinced that ‘lunar dependency’ is something quite common in modern society. This summer, the findings of one more related studies were published in some scientific magazines and online editions. A group of French scientists studied the effects of Moon cycles on sleep patterns of 33 volunteers, both males and females.
They all agreed to sleep in the lab conditions, and their sleep was thoroughly monitored and analyzed by the researchers. To their great surprise, they found out that all of the participants demonstrated quite clear problems with falling asleep and benefiting from high sleep quality during full moon. Moreover, despite the fact that the lab where the experiment was taking place had no windows and was totally dark in the nighttime, all of the participants reported waking up a few times a night when the moon was round. Finally, there was even more surprising fact: the days of full moon were linked in all the participants to decreased levels of melatonin, a known hormone linked to activating our biological clock and having a good night sleep.
It was really surprising because a great number of previous studies have proven that a human body produces increased amounts of melatonin when it is dark. Therefore, there are other factors like full moon which can cause slowed down melatonin production and creating a great environment for developing sleep disturbances. It was known before that being exposed to lower amounts of sunlight in the daytime, as well as being exposed to too bright light before going to sleep can interfere with melatonin production and contribute to developing sleep problems. According to the reported scientific findings published this summer in one of the issues of Current Biology, full moon and Moon phases can also play a role for that.
Unfortunately, the scientists did not manage to find a scientific prove to the discovered effect. In usual conditions, they would explained it by excessive moonlight which people are exposed to during the periods of full moon. However, the participants could not see the Moon and were not exposed to the excessive light. The scientists reported that during the time of maximum lunar activity, the participants’ sleep was on average 20 minutes shorter, and it took up to 5-10 minutes longer for the participants to fall asleep in the evening. “It’s up to science now to find out what’s the cause of why we might sleep differently when there’s a full Moon,” the study leader said, and he underlined that there are serious cultural bonds between the full moon and its negative effects on our mood and sleep.
We spend about one third of our life sleeping, and having good regular sleeps is absolutely essential for everyone. Sleeping helps us to refresh our mind, have some rest after hard working days and maintain good health. However, nowadays not many of us can have regular healthy sleep. There are certain physiological conditions which bring to problems for people to breathe freely and easily during sleep. There is a great deal of sleep disturbances which do not allow people to recover and regain their mental and physical strength. Day by day such people are getting weaker and more depressed. Sooner or later, they have to forget about such natural things as a good spirit, excellent work capacity and mental abilities, ideal memory and appearance, which can only be stimulated by regular good sleep.
Sleep disturbances and disorders are very frequent in our times and almost everyone knows their signs and reasons. One of the prevailing reasons of problems with sleep is usual neglect of our biorhythms. Very often we extend our waking ours with the help of various stimulants or willpower, and certainly, it can be done only at the expense of our time for sleeping. Another leading reason is chronic pains or psychological disturbances, such as stresses or depression. Sleep disorders cause tiredness, weakness, impaired motor skills, inability to focus or concentrate, weaker immune system and slowed down metabolism, as well as other unwanted consequences.
There are periodic, temporary and chronic sleep disorders. Serious ones, like narcolepsy, parasomnias, sleep apnea and others, usually require medical treatment and immediate changes in daily behavior. If you are suffering from chronic insomnia or other disturbance, see a specialist in order to diagnose your problem correctly. Only doctor can recognize the type of disorder and recommend the most effective treatment. For example, sleeping pills and tranquilizers are the most effective medications for insomniacs, and effective antidepressants and stimulants must be prescribed to the people who have hypersomnia (extreme sleepiness).
Nevertheless, in the majority of the situations your relief from problems with sleep is in your own hands. If you started having regular periods of insomnia, difficulties when falling asleep or waking up, as well as seeing scary or disturbing dreams, you can begin with making slight changes in your daytime behavior and sleep habits. Every day go to sleep at the same time, sleep in comfortable bed and in comfortable environment. Spend your time before going to bed in doing something calm and monotonous, or take a shower. Do not start using sleeping pills until your doctor did not recommend you to do so. And one more rule: set your mind for good sleep, and stay wrapped in slumber deep and sweet all night long.