New analysis conducted by the Swiss scientists has uncovered that moonlight can affect good sleep patterns on nights around the full moon.
The study that was carried out by researchers from the University of Basel and other research centers, suggest that lunar influence is behind sleep disruption during the full moon nights.
To examine the data, researchers studied 33 volunteers sleeping in tightly controlled laboratory conditions, according to the journal Current Biology.
The volunteer team is comprised of 17 healthy younger aged from 21 to 31 years old, and 16 healthy older ones aged 57 to 74 years old. They were non-smokers and did not take illegal drugs or medication.
When the Moon was round, the volunteers took longer to nod off and had poorer quality sleep, despite being shut in a darkened room.
The participants also had a slight decrease in levels of a hormone known as melatonin that is linked to natural-body clock cycles.
In normal metabolism, when it is dark, the body produces more melatonin and it makes less when it is light.
While the amount of light was the same every night in the provided conditions in the sleep laboratory, scientists looked for other significant reasons.
The results unveiled that patterns of moonlight can have effects on the body’s sleep rhythms of volunteers.
“The study suggests that as our body clocks have a natural response to the time of day, when it comes to sleep, it may also have a response to the cycle of the moon.”
“The lunar cycle seems to influence human sleep, even when one does not ‘see’ the Moon and is not aware of the actual moon phase,” Professor Christian Cajochen explained.
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