11/08

Full moon – truth or tale?

By Geisha Bar

Today is a full moon. Since time immemorial, humanity has held deep supernatural beliefs on the effects of the phases of the moon on human and animal physiology. This phenomenon has even been given names – “lunacy” and the “Transylvania effect”. Things claimed to be affected include fertility, psychiatric disorders, births, emergency number calls, attacks from animals and quality of sleep.

The only scientifically proven aspect affected? Quality of sleep.

Through sleep studies over lunar phases, scientists have uncovered the remnants of an ancient biological clock hanging around since caveman times. Evidence includes less deep sleep brain activity, taking longer to fall asleep and shorter rest duration. Participants also showed lower levels of melatonin – sleep regulating hormone. It is thought this biological clock was to assist in protecting against predators that would have been out hunting by the light of a full moon.

We aren’t the hunters – we were the hunted.