Werewolves break free from their human sleeves at the full moon. Police shifts double when the moon fills up. And we all know people can get a little weird at the full moon.
“It must be a full moon,” is a phrase we’ve all heard over even spoke from our own mouths when we hear of crazy stuff happening.
So we did a little research. We looked up studies from various peer-viewed journals and have published their findings here. We found all these studies on (www.livescience.com).
EPILEPSY: A study in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior in 2004 found no connection between epileptic seizures and the full moon, even though some patients believe their seizures to be trigged by the full moon. The researchers noted that epileptic seizures were once blamed on witchcraft and possession by demons, contributing to a longstanding human propensity to find mythical rather than medical explanations.
PSYCHIATRIC VISITS: A 2005 study by Mayo Clinic researchers, reported in the journal Psychiatric Services, looked at how many patients checked into a psychiatric emergency department between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. over several years. They found no statistical difference in the number of visits on the three nights surrounding full moons vs. other nights.
EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS: Researchers examined 150,999 records of emergency room visits to a suburban hospital. Their study, reported in American Journal of Emergency Medicine in 1996, found no difference at full moon vs. other nights.
SURGERY OUTCOMES: Do doctors and nurses mess up more during the full moon? Not according to a study in the October 2009 issue of the journal Anesthesiology. In fact, researchers found the risks are the same no matter what day of the week or time of the month you schedule.
PET INJURIES: In studying 11,940 cases at the Colorado State University Veterinary Medical Center, researchers found the risk of emergency room visits to be 23 percent higher for cats and 28 percent higher for dogs on days surrounding full moons. It could be people tend to take pets out more during the full moon, raising the odds of an injury, or perhaps something else is at work — the study did not determine a cause.
ANIMALS GONE WILD: A pair of conflicting studies in the British Medical Journal in 2001 leaves room for further research. In one of the studies, animal bites were found to have sent twice as many British people to the emergency room during full moons compared with other days. But in the other study, in Australia, dogs were found to bite people with similar frequency on any night. Some wild animals do behave differently during a full moon: For example, lions usually hunt at night, but after a full moon, they’re more likely to hunt during the day — likely to make up for the tough going on a moonlit night.
SLEEP DEPRIVATION: There’s been a lot of research into this topic. In the Journal of Affective Disorders in 1999, researchers suggested that before modern lighting, “the moon was a significant source of nocturnal illumination that affected [the] sleep–wake cycle, tending to cause sleep deprivation around the time of full moon.” They speculated that “this partial sleep deprivation would have been sufficient to induce mania/hypomania in susceptible bipolar patients and seizures in patients with seizure disorders.” When I first wrote this story in 2009, I looked over these oft-cited suggestions, scoured the scientific literature, and could not find where any of them had been tested or verified with any numbers or rigorous study of any kind. Since then, there have been a few more studies on the topic.
A small study in 2013, of just 33 volunteer adults, found they slept less during the full moon even when they could not see the moon and were not aware of the current lunar phase. The researchers say the findings would need to be replicated before they could be considered reliable, however. Then in 2014, a broad review of sleep-moon research, done by scientists at Max-Plank Institute of Psychiatry, found no statistically significant correlation between the lunar cycle and sleep.
More recently, research published in March of 2016, of 5,800 children age 9 to 11 in 12 different countries, found they slept about 5 minutes less on nights with a full moon. That’s “unlikely to be important” from a health perspective, the researchers said, but it is interesting. They speculate that the brightness of the full moon may be the reason, but with all the artificial light around these days, they doubt that suggestion.
So over all science says that a full moon doesn’t affect us as humans. But what do you think? Science isn’t everything, right? I mean, we believe in spiritual entities, other realms, magic, religion, faith, and supernatural powers. So, just because science can’t prove that it has an effect, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t. What do you think?