In many cultures full Moons are seen as important events; an ancient way of counting time and the seasons. For many a full Moon is more than just a milestone in the calendar. Many believe that full Moons affect human behaviour and may trigger emotions. The word lunatic (meaning crazy) is not a coincidence; its based on the belief that the Moon may in some cases be responsible for causing insanity. Moreover, in recent years there have even been reports that hospital staff and police officers claim that of having more incidents on a full Moon.
Some scientific research is indicating that there is some correlation between full Moons and the human condition. According to research published in Current Biology in May 2013 subjects took 5 minutes longer and slept 20 minutes less on the 3-4 nights surrounding a full Moon (1). The same study also found that brain activity associated with deep sleep decreased by 30% and that melatonin levels were lower. These changes for a healthy individual may not be much but for someone suffering a psychological disorder it could be enough to trigger extreme behaviour.
A Time magazine article published in 2013 that looked at available scientific date concluded that there is a lunar link to the electrochemistry of the brain in epileptic patients, which changes in the few days surrounding a new moon, making seizures more likely (2). According to an article by The Telegraph (3), Dr McCrae a writer and doctor during his research for one of his book spoke to former nurses who worked at old mental asylums more than half a century ago claimed with utter conviction that there was a lunar effect on wards at night.
It seems after all that there is reliable data indicating a link between the human psyche and the full Moon that deserves more research
- Evidence that the Lunar Cycle Influences Human Sleep. Current Biology, 23, 1485-1488, August 5, 2013.
- How the Moon Messes with your Sleep. Time Magazine.
- How will Tonight’s Moon Affect Human Behaviour? The Telegraph