The Loh Down On Science

Do full moons affect our sleep?

Here's good news for your inner werewolf!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying:

You know that feeling that full moons disrupt your sleep?  You're not just imagining it!

So says a new study by the University of Basel, in Switzerland.  It's found that people's slumber really is poorer during full moons.  And not because the light is so accursed bright, either.  At least, that wasn't the case in the lab where the study took place for 3 years.

Volunteers, ages 20 to 74, spent multiple nights in the lab's carefully controlled environment.  As they slept, their brainwaves were monitored by EEG.

And?  Around the time of full moons, people took slightly longer to fall asleep, and stayed asleep for slightly less time.  They also had thirty percent fewer delta brainwaves, which indicate deep sleep.

The results didn't vary by age, gender, or season.  So, like some marine animals, humans may be guided by an ancient lunar rhythm.

—Spawning in moonlit surf optional.

***** For more 90-SECOND SCIENCE FACTS, click here.*****

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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