Since ancient times, human have associated a full moon with horror and madness. It brings out werewolves and vampires and it drives people insane, hence the world lunacy. In modern times, many scientist have been drawn to research the effect of full moon. And whatever the affects have found of full moon, we are going to describe in this article.
A study in Switzerland found that people who spend a night in a sleep laboratory when a moon was full, took an avenge five minutes longer to get to sleep and rated their sleep quality 15 percent lower than at other times of the month.
And participant in a sealed room where they could not even see the moon or external light. Something strange seemed to be happening. But, only 33 people took part in the study, and even the report authors were cautious about their findings.
Even so, many police officers and hospital staff insist there are more accident, violent incidents and psychiatrist admissions during full moon. Back in 2007, the police force in the British seaside resort of Brighton even went as far as to employ extra officers at certain times of the month.
Surely sensible people like police officers and doctors would not act without evidence? Yet in 1985, in a major meta-analysis of the findings of 37 studies, two leading US psychologists concluded the lunar cycle had almost no effects. For every study that showed there were more social and medical problems when the moon was full, another showed there were fewer.
Where there were small spikes and things like hospitals admissions or murders rate, they can explained by the full moon, coinciding with holidays or weekends when such a spikes regularly occurred anyway. And a review of 20 studies found no clear evidence for a link between full moon and an increase in people considering suicide.
But, such is the hold of the full moon or our imagination, the studies keep coming. Hundreds have conducted. Some have speculated that a full moon might exert a gravitational pull on the water in our bodies in the same way as it effects the tides.
Other have theorized that it is the light of the moon that influences our behavior. But a single candle give off four times more light than a full moon. Hence, no one suggest that candle light go makes us crazy. There are some strange cases through.
In north England doctors found twice as many patients admitted with bites from dogs rates cats and horses when there was a full moon than the when moon was new. How comes? Was the moon light influencing the behavior of the mites or on the animals causing the cats and dogs more irritation and leading them to bite humans in their fury?
But, research from Australia published in same journal, concluded that when factors like weekend took into account, there were no correlation between the phase of the moon and the number of the dog bite injuries. So again, the evidence for the moon making us, or animals, behave oddly is slim. And then come a study from Finland in 2019 that turned everything on its head.
Looking back at more than half of the century of cases of murders or slaughtering they discovered something surprising. Not only there was no increase in murder during a full moon, this time of the month was in fact least likely time for them to occur.
Why, then, the continuing fascination? Perhaps this so called confirmation bias, where we make connection based on our previous beliefs?
So, on the night of a full moon, a Brighton police officer links what seems to be a busy nights of incidents- to the moon shining high up in the night sky. But, on a similar busy evenings, when the moon is but a silver, the police does not make the similar connections.
The whole exercise provided some useful lessons for the science. It is a brilliant example of the difficulties of distinguishing between correlation and causation and how hard it can be definitively demonstrate links between two factors.
Some people argue the full moon has some adverse impact on people but not others. So a study of general population will always to fail to find a link. But the link might still be there. The way forward, they say, study only those who claim to be affected. Who knows?
We should always keep an open mind and welcome further study. But for the moment the evidence seem clear. It is safe to leave the garlic and silver crucifixes at home next time you venture out in the full moon, and that howling is just a dog or fox. It still covered what kind of affect it further leaves on body or our performance. Let’s hope, further studies makes it clearer.