When the moon is full, many people sleep worse. But are the sleep disorders really related to it? An expert explains what’s behind it.
The full moon is cited by many as a reason when it comes to the causes of poor sleep. But does the full moon have been proven to disturb sleep? A question that comes up again and again and is considered controversial.
Shorter sleep with a full moon
As early as 2013, Prof. Dr. Christian Cajochen, an expert in chronobiology from Switzerland, together with his team found in a study that the melatonin level of the test persons was lower during a full moon than on a night without a full moon.
The hormone melatonin is responsible for regulating the day/night rhythm in the human body.
In addition, the test subjects slept 20 minutes less and took five minutes longer to fall asleep.
According to sleep expert Dr. Michael Feld, however, these results are difficult to generalize: “The problem is that a scientific investigation in this area rarely produces anything really tangible because it is so difficult to examine only the moon as an influencing factor and to keep all other factors constant.
You would have to examine a much larger number of people several times a month to get valid data. In addition, there are too many other factors that also influence sleep.
How the full moon affects sleep remains somewhat mystical, even according to our expert: “It feels like I would say it has an influence. It is difficult to prove scientifically. ”
This is how the light of the full moon affects the body
However, it has been proven that the light of the full moon can have an influence on the body’s melatonin production.
For example, if you leave the roller blinds up while sleeping, the residual light of the full moon can certainly reduce melatonin production in sensitive people and thus negatively affect sleep.
“What we do know for sure is that sleepwalkers sleepwalk more when the moon is full. This is said to be the influence of light through the full moon. ”
With regard to sleep itself, however, critics assume that the disturbance of sleep by the full moon is merely a self-fulfilling prophecy, i.e. imagination, of the person concerned.
Dr. Feld is of the opinion that this expectation is the trigger for sleep problems with a full moon in many people.
These factors can also affect sleep
Dr. According to Feld, room and body temperature, time of going to bed, lighting conditions, background noise, nocturnal urge to urinate, the last meal, disturbances from one’s own snoring or that of one’s partner, as well as health and private aspects, all have an impact on sleep.
Physical activity during the day also plays a role. It has been proven that athletes sleep better on average. However, you should not complete your exercise session immediately before bed, but give your body enough time to shut down after training.
The core body temperature drops by around 1.5 degrees from evening to midnight. If the body is overheated due to intense exercise right before sleep, it can take a little longer to fall asleep.
“Sleep can also be influenced to the extent that it cannot be produced through the will. You have to offer a pleasant atmosphere that he can adjust to, ”says sheep expert Feld.
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