You climbed into bed timeously BUT…. sleep was elusive. Why ?
Why did your night turn into a nightmare ?
You work through the list of usual suspects :
- Too much caffeine ?
- Too much fudge sundae ?
- Too much of your boss ? your kids ?
- Too little in your bank account ?
- Smelly laundry ?
- Too hot ?
- Too much screen time ?
Maybe, but you need to add a new troublemaker to the list of dream stealers.
Scientists from the University of Basel have discovered, problems sleeping can be attributed to the moon.
Moon singing the blues
The Basel researchers tracked the quantity and quality of sleep of 33 volunteers in a sleep lab.
The volunteers who checked into a sleep lab for a few nights, had no idea that they were part of a study looking at how the moon might influence sleep. And the sleep lab design, ensured they could not SEE the moon from inside.
The team monitored their sleep by measuring brain patterns, eye movements and hormone secretions, specifically melatonin and cortisol levels. In addition to the official sleep tests, they also asked volunteers to report on how well they had slept.
Moon singing the blues
The night of the full moon was nightmarish.
Brain activity scans showed that the electroencephalogram (EEG) delta activity during NREM sleep plummeted by 30 %. Translated into English, the volunteers did not sleep as deeply when the moon was full.
It also took them 5 minutes longer to fall asleep and when all was said and done, they ended up sleeping on average 20 minutes less. Melatonin, the hormone that acts as your night valet, seemed to take the night off around the time of the full moon.
On the morning after the full moon, most people did not feel quite as rested – so it was not just a minor technical glitch in the sleep pattern, it was real enough to be noticed.
NB. The volunteers were blissfully unaware of what the moon was up to.
What is the moon up to ?
It probably has nothing to do with the moon singing the blues, but something to do with its magnetic pull. Remember the moon is responsible for creating tides, thanks to gravitational forces.
Scientists have known for some time, that many marine creatures run their biology based on the lunar clock, which runs on a schedule of 29.5 days. But, when it has come to humans – it has always been assumed we set our biology using the sun as our clock, living according to the circadian rhythm.
This study suggests we are subject to the moon’s bidding too ?
Maybe this is not such a new idea, just something modern man has “forgotten”.
The moon helped our ancestors create calendars to manage their days – a phenomenon that has left us following a calendar year, divided into 12 months, which corresponds to the lunar cycles (more-or-less).
And folklore tells of individuals with especially strange behaviours around the time of the full moon. Maybe brought on by lack of sleep ?
Watch out …………….. tonight is a FULL MOON !
If you’re particularly sensitive you might need a little help sleeping tonight – maybe a wee night cap.
|Old eyes can’t wake the sandman up||A sleepless night stirs up insulin resistance in the healthy||If you don’t include this in your diet – you won’t lose fat|
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