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Finally Proven: Our Sleep Cycles Are in Sync with the Moon

written by / May 20, 2021
Our Sleep Cycles are in Sync with the Moon

The proof that the Moon affects our behavior is finally here! But, instead of awakening our inner criminals and werewolves, what moonlight does, according to the latest study, is regulate our sleeping cycle. 

And it’s only logical — lunar phases influence the activities of many animals, from insects to mammals, so why should we be an exception?

That said, most studies in the past were unable to prove whether this celestial body had anything to do with our circadian rhythm. This was mainly due to a different schedule of assessing the sleeping parameters. 

Researchers in this study, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, monitored sleep patterns of three Argentinian communities living in places with different levels of urbanization, and thus, different access to electrical lighting.  

Wrist monitors of all participants showed that they went to bed later and slept less overall just a few days leading up to the full moon phase. 

More precisely, 3 to 5 days before every full moon, people took 30 to 90 minutes longer to fall asleep and slept 20 — 90 minutes less.

This moonlight effect was stronger for those that lived in non-urbanized areas. Still, it was present in all those who were surveyed. What’s more, sleep recordings of students living in large US cities have also shown the same symptoms. 

So wherever you live, there’s a good chance that your sleep cycle is moonstruck for several nights leading up to a full moon. In other words, during this period, you might notice that your melatonin supplements and essential oils for sleep are less effective than usual.

Artificial lights also stimulate our nocturnal activity, but how their magnitude compares to the moonlight effect is still a subject of debate.

Marija Kovachevska is a content writer at, Biochemist and Activist. After obtaining her BSc in Biochemistry and Physiology she changed her microscope for content research tools and continued researching in the fields of Medicine, Biology, and Communication. Her insatiable curiosity flare drove her to become a “content scientist writer” as she likes to say. Reality fascinates her and facts and statistics are a must-have feature in her articles. Fluent in English and French, she is a volunteer and communication associate for several non-profit organizations. French culture and handcrafting are her passion, but in her free time, she indulges in long walks and traveling, or as she likes to say “experiencing the inexperienced.”

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