Bad Night Moon

Full moons can be breathtaking, but they also can mess with your circadian rhythms. A new study suggests that not only are humans cued and responsive to the rising and setting suns, they are also profoundly influenced by lunar cycles. And full moons, in particular, seem to get in the way of a good night’s sleep. (See, you’re not just imagining it.)

Researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland and the Montefiore Medical Center in New York who conducted the study, say that during the days closest to the full moon their sleep subjects slept, on average, about 20 minutes less. Intriguingly, researchers also reported dips in the important sleep hormone melatonin as well as a disturbance in the most restful “deep” sleep around full moons.

The study was published recently in the journal Current Biology.