Bad Sleep Around Full Moon Is No Longer A Myth
Many people complain about poor sleep around full moon. Scientists at the University of Basel now report evidence that lunar cycles and human sleep behavior are in fact connected. The results have been published in the journal «Current Biology».
The research group around Prof. Christian Cajochen of the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel analyzed the sleep of over 30 volunteers in two age groups in the lab. While they were sleeping, the scientists monitored their brain patterns, eye movements and measured their hormone secretions. The findings suggest that even today, despite the comforts of modern life, humans still responds to the geophysical rhythms of the moon.
Short And Poor Sleep
The data show that both the subjective and the objective perception of the quality of sleep changed with the lunar cycles. Around full moon, brain activity in the areas related to deep sleep dropped by 30 percent. People also took five minutes longer to fall asleep and they overall slept for 20 minutes less. The volunteers felt as though their sleep had been poorer during full moon and they showed lower levels of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wake cycles. «This is the first reliable evidence that lunar rhythm can modulate sleep structure in humans», Cajochen says.
A Relic From The Past
According to the researchers, this circalunar rhythm might be a relic from past times, when the moon was responsible for synchronizing human behavior. This is well known for other animals, especially marine animals, where moon light coordinates reproduction behavior. Today, other influences of modern life, such as electric light, masked the moon’s influence on us. However, the study shows that in the controlled environment of the laboratory with a strict study protocol, the moon’s hold over us can be made visible and measurable again.
Christian Cajochen, Songül Altanay-Ekici, Mirjam Münch, Sylvia Frey, Vera Knoblauch, and Anna Wirz-Justice
Evidence that the Lunar Cycle Influences Human Sleep
Current Biology, August 05, 2013 issue | doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.06.029
Prof. Dr. Christian Cajochen, Centre for Chronobiology, Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel, tel. +41 61 325 53 18, email: email@example.com
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.06.029 - Abstract
http://www.chronobiology.ch/ - Centre for Chronobiology, Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel
Reto Caluori | Universität Basel
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...