Do The Moon’s Cycles Actually Influence Your Sleep?

Many myths and legends suggest that the phase of the moon can affect behaviors (like the folklore of werewolves, for example).   But, do lunar cycles actually affect how you sleep?  

Basically, the moon goes through different “phases” that repeat every 29.5 days, which are defined by how much of the moon is visible from earth.  That is what is meant by “lunar cycles” or “moon cycles.”

taffpicture/Shutterstock

According to NASA, “Because of the tilt and shape of its orbit, we see the Moon from slightly different angles over the course of a month,”

The moon’s phases range from a full moon — that’s when the moon looks like a full circle — to a half moon, small crescent, and then a new moon, where the moon isn’t visible at all. 

According to some research, there may be a small link between the moon phase and how well people sleep.

In one study, researchers analyzed data from 5,812 children in 12 countries who were aged 9–11 years.  According to Psychology Today, the researchers discovered, “Children slept an average of 4.9 minutes less during the time of the full moon, compared to the time of a new moon, an average 1 percent reduction in total sleep time.”

Stas Vulkanov/Shutterstock

And Scientific American reported on another study of 33 individuals, which found that “around the full moon, humans get less shut-eye and their slumber is not as deep, even if sleep is restricted to windowless rooms free of environmental and time-based cues—such as those found in a sleep lab.”

Study author Christian Cajochen, from the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel in Switzerland, told CNN, “If you ask people, at least in Switzerland, about 40 percent report feeling the moon during sleep, or they blame the full moon for bad sleep.”

Researchers aren’t totally sure what might cause the alleged connection between sleep and lunar cycles, but it could be related to our circadian rhythms.

Ultimately, there’s no definitive answer on whether the phase of the moon affects our sleep — yet, anyway.

Featured Image: AstroStar/Shutterstock

Joe Auer

Joe is the editor of Mattress Clarity. When he isn't testing sleep products, he enjoys working out, reading, and playing classical piano.

Leave a Comment