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  • The Moon and You
    Hyper kids, more women in labor, and restless sleep are just a few of the things blamed on full moons. While numerous studies have been conducted on the idea of the lunar effect, none have found a definitive correlation between the moon’s cycle and human actions or feelings. What’s the real story? You be the judge. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

The Moon and You

Is the moon’s effect on health myth or fact? Here’s what the research says.

You’ve heard the stories or maybe you’ve been an eyewitness. Known as the lunar effect, many people claim strange happenings occur on days when there is a full moon or super moon. Hyper kids, more women in labor, and restless sleep are just a few of the things blamed on full moons.

It’s true that during a full moon the ocean tide is higher due to an increase in gravitational pull. Since your body is made of 80 percent water, could there be a similar “pull” in your body that affects behavior and health? A second theory attributes an increase in positive ions that occurs during full moons as a cause for changes in mood and behavior.

While numerous studies have been conducted on the idea of the lunar effect, none have found a definitive correlation between the moon’s cycle and human actions or feelings. Even so, some people swear the following things happen when there’s a full or super moon. What’s the real story? You be the judge.

Triggers Labor

Despite studies that prove otherwise, many nurses and midwives claim there’s an increase in the number of babies born on nights when there’s a full or super moon. Could it be that when the moon is full you take notice and anticipate a busy night in the labor and delivery room even though there’s really no association? A full moon may just be something to blame when there’s a crazy night.

Restless Sleep

Ever notice a full moon on the nights you toss and turn? One study did show that people sleep less, have trouble falling asleep, and have restless sleep on nights the moon is full. Could it be the moon’s gravitational pull or positive ions? Or could there be a scientific explanation? Science says that when the night is brighter, your body produces less melatonin and therefore has difficulty sleeping.

Psychological Effects

Did you know the word “lunatic” comes from the “luna,” the Latin word for moon? The moon’s powers were once thought to trigger manic episodes in those with bipolar disorder and cause others psychological distress. Mood changes, if any, are now attributed to a lack of sleep due to the full moon’s bright sky.

Seizures

One study claims an increase in deaths from epileptic seizures during a full moon. Another study shows a full moon has no effect on epileptic seizures, but does lead to more nonepileptic seizures. Review of the data shows there’s no increase when there’s cloud cover, hinting that it’s the brightness of a full moon that has an effect, not its phase.

Surgery Outcomes

Could the gravitational pull of the moon influence the blood and brain chemicals in your body? One study showed that patients who underwent emergency surgery on their aorta were 79 percent less likely to die and had a shorter hospital stay if their surgery was during a full moon compared to patients whose surgery was during other moon phases. Other studies have shown no correlation between the moon and recovery from surgery. Would you go so far as to schedule surgery during a full moon just in case?

Regulate Menstrual Cycles

The average menstrual cycle of women is 28 days while the lunar phase is roughly 29. A study tracking women’s cycles found that nearly one third of women had their period overlapping the full moon. No other phase of the moon was found to have such a large percentage of women. Could this be another argument for the moon’s powerful effect on health? Track the moon’s phases and see for yourself.