WASHINGTON – Swiss researchers said Thursday that people really do have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep when the moon is full, even when they can’t see it.
The results of a study on 33 volunteers published in the journal Current Biology showed that people took longer to fall asleep at night and slept for a shorter time during a full moon. When there was a full moon, people slept an average of 19 minutes less and took five minutes longer to fall asleep than when there was a new moon. Study participants also reported feeling less well rested, and showed lower levels of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wake cycles, during the full moon.
“To our knowledge, this is the first report of a lunar influence on objective sleep parameters,” the study said.
Researchers said more studies may reveal whether the moon has a measurable effect on mood as well as mental performance.