A full Moon can disturb a good night’s sleep, scientists believe.Researchers found evidence of a “lunar influence” in a study of 33 volunteers sleeping in tightly controlled laboratory conditions.When the Moon was round, the volunteers took longer to nod off and had poorer quality sleep, despite being shut in a darkened room, Current Biology reports.They also had a dip in levels of a hormone called melatonin that is linked to natural-body clock cycles.When it is dark, the body makes more melatonin. And it produces less when it is light.Being exposed to bright lights in the evening or too little light during the day can disrupt the body’s normal melatonin cycles.But the work in Current Biology, by Prof Christian Cajochen and colleagues from Basel University in Switzerland, suggests the Moon’s effects may be unrelated to its brightness…. …
Crackdown on lunar-fuelled crime
He told the BBC: “From my experience, over 19 years of being a police officer, undoubtedly on full moons, we do seem to get people with, sort of, stranger behaviour – more fractious, argumentative.
“And I think that’s something that’s been borne out by police officers up and down the country for years.”
Past research into the phenomenon includes a study by Professor Michal Zimecki, of the Polish Academy of Sciences, who argued that a full moon could affect criminal activity and health.
In 1998, a three-month psychological study of 1,200 inmates at Armley jail in Leeds discovered a rise in violent incidents during the days either side of a full moon.