Sleepless night, the moon is bright: longitudinal study of lunar phase and sleep
Popular belief holds that the lunar cycle affects human physiology, behaviour and health. We examined the influence of moon phase on sleep duration in a secondary analysis of a feasibility study of mobile telephone base stations and sleep quality. We studied 31 volunteers (18 women and 13 men, mean age 50 years) from a suburban area of Switzerland longitudinally over 6 weeks, including two full moons. Subjective sleep duration was calculated from sleep diary data. Data were analysed using multiple linear regression models with random effects. Mean sleep duration was 6 h 49 min. Subjective sleep duration varied with the lunar cycle, from 6 h 41 min at full moon to 7 h 00 min at new moon (P < 0.001). Average sleep duration was shortened by 68 min during the week compared with weekends (P < 0.001). Men slept 17 min longer than women (P < 0.001) and sleep duration decreased with age (P < 0.001). There was also evidence that rating of fatigue in the morning was associated with moon phase, with more tiredness (P = 0.027) at full moon. The study was designed for other purposes and the association between lunar cycle and sleep duration will need to be confirmed in further studies.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland 2: Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Publication date: June 1, 2006