Since time immemorial, humans have spent years studying and understanding how the moon affects life on Earth. Just recently, a new science-backed research has been added to the growing mass of studies on how the moon affects humans on Earth, particularly children’s sleeping pattern.
According to a study conducted by researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research, children get five minutes less sleep during a full moon, roughly 1 percent less than the typical number of hours they get in ordinary nights.
Even before, humans believe that the moon affects the behavior of people on Earth, including the belief that a full moon causes children to become hyperactive. The study, which was published in journals in Frontiers in Pediatrics, debunked such belief.
By studying 5,800 children from 12 countries for seven days, the researchers, for the first time, were able to collect valuable information that has never been explored before. Unlike previous research where researchers relied more on self-reports of children and parents, the researchers, this time, attached a device called accelerometer to children to track their movements 24 hours a day for seven days.
According to the study, one possible explanation why children get less sleep during a full moon is the increased brightness during this period. But critics are skeptical about this explanation, considering the abundance of artificial lights in today’s modern world.
“Collectively, the current study provides solid evidence to the effect that the associations between moon phases and children’s sleep duration/activity behaviors are not meaningful from a public health standpoint (small effect sizes). Given our large sample size, finding a statistically significant shorter sleep duration around full moon is not surprising,” the researchers wrote.
Another criticism of the same study concerns the duration of the observation, which lasted only for seven days, not covering the whole lunar calendar. This, according to some critics, could be a source of gray area.