Human sleep, menstrual cycle are affected by phases of the moon, two new studies find

While this is not uncommon for other animals, the notion that human beings were also affected by the moon was a controversial theory.

Something we thought was an old wives' tales, and dismissed as old superstition, may now have a scientific explanation. Two new studies have found that there is a connection between the phases of the moon and our human sleep and menstrual cycles. The latest research published in the journal Science Advances has shown that a few days before a full moon, people tend to go to bed late and sleep for a lesser period of time. It has been believed and hypothesized for years that light, natural (sunlight or moonlight) and artificial, is somehow connected with the sleeping patterns of human beings. Before artificial light was invented, the moon was the only source of light once the sun had set.

 Human sleep, menstrual cycle are affected by phases of the moon, two new studies find

Researchers found that sleep starts later and is shorter on the nights before the full moon.

To further understand this, the team used wrist monitors to establish the relation between nocturnal sleep timing and the lunar cycle. For the study, they chose different participants living in rural and urban areas to find out if the environment also plays a role.

As per a report by The Guardian, 98 individuals' sleep patterns were tracked and they lived in three different type of communities in Argentina. One was a rural community that had no electricity access, the other was a rural community with limited electricity access while the third was urban setting that had full access to electricity.

Surprisingly, all three communities showed the same pattern of sleep oscillations during the moon’s cycle. The sleep duration changed by some 20 and 90 minutes, and bedtimes varied by 30 to 80 minutes during the natural satellite’s 29.5 day-long cycles. The study concludes that human sleep was synchronised with the lunar cycle, irrespective of ethnic and socio-cultural backgrounds.

Ms Flow is affected by the moon

Another study conducted and published in the journal Science Advances showed that there is a connection between a person's menstrual cycle and the moon's cycles. While this is not uncommon for other animals, the notion that even human beings periods are affected by the moon was controversial, to say the least. What is even more surprising is that since the use of artificial lights used at night, the synchronous nature of our periods, with the moon's cycle, has been lost however that could also be chalked up to age.

For this study, the menstrual data of 22 women over the past 32 years were studied. The data averaged 15 years and the information came from women who were both over and under the age of 35 years. According to a statement, women whose menstrual cycles lasted longer than 27 days showed "intermittently synchronized with cycles that affect the intensity of moonlight."

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