Why do men sleep worse on certain days? Does the moon affect our sleep? A Swedish study has now examined how the phases of the moon affect sleep. With a surprising result: men are more strongly influenced by the moon than women.
Men always sleep so badly when the moon is full. While some experts blame other factors for poor sleep, there is research that suggests that there might be a link between sleep quality and the celestial body. A team of Swedish scientists wanted to know more about it and investigated whether and to what extent the phases of the moon affect the sleep of men and women. The results are surprising!
The phases of the moon
Every month the moon goes through its phases from new moon to full moon. It takes 29.53 days until the same moon phase, i.e. from full moon back to full moon. The increasing period means the phase from the day after the new moon to the day of the full moon. During this time, the illumination of the moon increases and the point in time at which the moon crosses the meridian, i.e. when it reaches its highest level, gradually shifts from noon to midnight.
The phase from the day after the full moon to the new moon is called the waning period. During this time, the brightness of the moon decreases and the point in time at which it has its zenith shifts from the early hours of the night to midday.
The scientists at Uppsala University in Sweden focused precisely on these two different periods in their new study.
Does the moon affect sleep? Study with 852 participants
In the study, the scientists evaluated the sleep records (via polysomnography) of 360 men and 492 women between the ages of 22 and 81 years. The phase of the waxing moon was shown to have a different effect on sleep than the phase of the waning moon. Particularly noteworthy: According to the analysis, this applies to men, but not to women.
How does the moon affect the sleep of men and how does it affect the sleep of women?
The sleep study of men during the waxing phase of the moon showed a lower sleep efficiency than the analysis of the data collected during the waning phase. This means that they were awake longer, slept shorter and spent less time in the individual sleep stages. In contrast, women’s sleep was largely unaffected by the phases of the moon.
Why is it that men are more sensitive to the moon?
The Swedish study found a connection between the phases of the moon and the quality of sleep in men. However, the research does not provide a causal explanation at this point.
Scientists suspect that the waxing moon disrupts sleep because it reflects more sunlight in the evening than the waning moon. But why does this apparently only have a negative effect on men and not on women? One possible explanation could be that men may be more sensitive to light than women. This is the result of an earlier study from the USA.