Sleep is one such activity that is very important in every living being’s life besides most important in human life. But in today’s modern living, sleeplessness is becoming common, giving an edge to health risks. If sleeplessness is something to be talked about, so are its causes.
There are various reasons behind this problem of sleeplessness, one reason is the influence of the moon and its cycles, which have been studied for quite a long time now, but the results are discordant.
A new study, published in Science Of the Total Environment, was done by a team of 850 scientists on the people of Uppsala and Sweden, where scientists monitored their sleep during this research. Scientists keep a check on the inception, duration, and quality of sleep for a single night.
The study confirms, there is an influence of lunar changes on sleep patterns but not in the same way on people. Over several years these measurements of a single night were observed and recorded across both men and women.
These recordings were of cycles of the moon, starting from the new to the full moon, all the stages involving the waxes and waning. There is a thinking that as the illumination of the moon increases, the disturbance in sleep increases.
Conclusively, given people tend to sleep easily in darkness. Some studies have carried it along; others might not be able to.
Christian Benedict, neuroscientist and author of this study from Uppsala University, claims,
“We found less sleeping efficiency and increased time awake after sleep onset in case of men, in waxing period than waning period.””On the other hand the sleep of women is less affected by the lunar cycle.”
The research paper states that women sleep on an average of 12 minutes less on nights during the waxing phase than the waning phase. However, men slept over 20 minutes less during the waxing period than the waning period of the moon.
Other effects were more prevalent in men including, more disturbance to the length of sleeping stages, larger sleeplessness, and over 3.4 percent lower sleep frequency. Benedict claims, “our study, certainly, cannot extract whether the association of sleep with lunar cycle was causal or correlative.“
It is because this was observational research, making it less prevalent to claim any cause.
The study claims,
“Besides light, circadian rhythms liable for the sleep timing are suffering from non-photic cues, including gravity. Differences within the moon’s gravitational pick at the time of sleep between waxing and waning, might explain a number of the observed changes in sleep.”
There might be other reasons: including geomagnetic effects for the changes in sleep stages, but for this time, the moon, which is changing its phases every night, seems the most relevant explanation for this.