The story starts with old empirical knowledge, of course with so many myths. But they are often known to have a true core. However, the current state of science in such discussions really does not decide whether a phenomenon is real or not. Unfortunately, many researchers today still will often adopt a negative attitude, as long as comprehensible explanations are missing – missing in the sense of: not yet found.
Especially with the moon, there is no consensus as to whether and to what extent it has real effects on life. And especially with the moon, it can be stated that skepticism usually results from a lack of knowledge about triggering factors and contexts. No wonder, the research is still in its infancy. What do you want to expect!
But unfortunately, there are also scientists who claim to sleep worse at full moon. In addition, there are the first meaningful studies that establish a clear link between the earthly life and our moon. In ancient times hardly anyone doubted the various lunar effects. The Latin word for moon demonstrates particularly clearly how closely the link with the human mind was combined – in fact, Luna is also in mood or in English lunacy, which simply means madness is meant. Last but not least, the werewolf belief is based on an old view that people are more aggressive at full moon.
There are also many early reports that show the belief in the effects of moons on the birth rate or the development of various diseases. Certainly, some lunar effects in the ocean of conditional factors are lost. Especially in our time other effects are likely to outweigh the meantime.
In any case, science lacks a solid foundation to simply smile and deny the principal possibility of a moon factor. On the contrary, several connections are well known and proven. The fact that the moon is likely to have certain effects as the next larger celestial body does not seem to be a particularly absurd thesis.
Many animals react very clearly to the four-week lunar cycle, which has since been proven. In the one-hour mosquito Clunio the changing moonlight determines the reproductive rhythm, the propagation of Palolo seaworms in the South Pacific is closely tied to the moon phase, as well as the cycles of the Red Mangrove Crab or the Grunion as the only spawning on land fish.
Ornamental fish, a very strong color sensitivity of the retina, depending on the phase of the moon, was found years ago, which occurs in humans, irrespective of the direct visibility of the moon: our yellow sensitivity changes in the lunar cycle and increases at full moon. Hormone concentrations, blood sugar and other biological values also change in this rhythm.
The ancient Egyptians linked the moon to fertility in the great goddess Isis. The woman’s menstrual cycle is unlikely to be approximately the same as the orbital period of the Moon, even though skeptics like to argue that this cycle varies individually between about 24 and 35 days – so it is too variable to find and, above all, prove a true connection.
Only whether these modern and thus possibly dependent on additional influences data are meaningful, whether they really reflect the original conditions, that is beyond question. In any case, a statistically significant increase in cases of menstrual bleeding at full and new moon is attested. But what do new researches say about the influence of the moon? For example, what about the very, frequently claimed sleep disturbances at full moon?
In 2014, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich stated that they could not find a corresponding connection here. It is interesting how different the statements of a research group from Switzerland are.
The scientists around the chronobiologist from Basel came rather by chance with the idea of re-analyzing the data of an already completed sleep study and paying attention to the particular phase of the moon. In 2013, they published their interesting findings in the journal Current Biology . They explain that they have provided the first truly valid proof that the moon affects our sleep.
The basic conditions for testing proved to be excellent: In the sleep laboratory, the participants were largely shielded from light, slept at similar times as at home, but were not informed about the moon phase. The focus was on brain waves, eye movement and the release of certain hormones. Even the subjective description of the sleep quality proved to be remarkable, because just during the full moon phase, the subjects also described a worse sleep.
The electroencephalograms confirmed the deviation by a 30% decrease in delta waves, which are recorded especially in deep sleep. Also, the sleep hormone melatonin was only released in half the amount during the full moon phase. To fall asleep, the participants needed on average five minutes longer, overall, the night’s sleep reduced by at least 20 minutes.
The results seem clear and could not be effectively refuted until today. They speak clearly that the moon actually acts on our organism. And even if you do not see him and it is absolutely dark in the room. But the moonlight itself can hardly be the cause of the sleep disorders. And even in the pitch-black deep sea, plankton follows the moon phase.
There is hardly anything to explain about man’s day-night rhythm; everyone knows and feels it with his own body. Nobody denies a natural connection here. We’re living on this particular planet, which spins around its axis once every 24 hours – a movement that’s adapted to all life. Almost strange that in contrast to that other natural rhythm, that rhythm of the moon, as a biological factor is often underestimated significantly.
However, Cajochen’s group summed it up: In contrast to the day-night rhythm, the lunar rhythms are not so obvious and difficult to document – but they do exist. The problem is perhaps even less that the rhythms are not as pronounced as in the fact that researchers are still puzzling about which mechanisms and forces actually work in the background.
As I said, it can not be the moonlight alone. And a closer look at the situation makes it difficult even with gravity and tides. Because moon phase and distance are not coupled together; Due to the elliptical lunar orbit, there can sometimes be similar tidal forces at crescent as at full moon, depending on the instantaneous distance. And tidal effects on objects the size of an animal or human are vanishingly small.
The most likely effects of the moon in the vicinity of the earth could be due to changes in the magnetic field, but there is still a need for research here. However, it is already clear that magnetic fields influence enzymes and various processes in the organism.
Even therapies with uniformly pulsating magnetic fields are becoming more and more popular. On the other hand, adverse health effects caused by solar-induced geomagnetic storms with their totally erratic vibrations were repeatedly confirmed. But there are enough unresolved puzzles left over. Exactly why numerous effects can not be excluded simply. Not always decides with them the moon phase, which makes things even more confusing.
For example, empirical data suggests that the growth of some plant species depends on the lunar declination, that is, the angular distance of the moon from the celestial equator, which continually changes within known limits. Here, the rise phase is obviously cheaper. As far as the topic Moon and plant growth is concerned, a corresponding study.
The results indicate that the consideration of lunar rhythms seems to be advisable, especially in semen production and in medicinal plant cultivation for the production of a high seed quality or a specific nutrition quality in addition to the general yield relevance.
All in all, there are apparently many more life secrets associated with the moon, and sometimes also lost knowledge, which is only gradually being rediscovered so that it can be used appropriately by open-minded contemporaries.