The Earth is very lucky to have the Moon here by its side. The star has an influence on the planet in several areas. In fact, over the years, the effect that the natural satellite will have on humans has been debated. Thus, recent research even suggests that the Moon definitely affects our sleep.
There is now a new study that suggests that the phase of the Moon has a real and measurable effect on the amount of sleep we sleep and when we feel tired.
How the moon messes with the human internal clock
How many times have we heard of the Moon's influence on pregnancy? And is it not known that the natural satellite also has an influence on the tides, agriculture and even the delivery of mothers?
We have all heard that the full moon makes people act differently than they would on any other night during a different phase of the moon. Ancient civilizations used to place great importance on the phases of the moon and some believed that certain things happened only during phases specific, like the full moon.
If in the past they could often be theories, today they are data that science wants to prove.
In the study published in Science Advances, the researchers placed volunteers from indigenous communities in Argentina on sleep monitors for two months. Initially, the idea was to understand and record the sleep habits of this community. About 100 people from the region participated in the study.
The data was also compared to the sleep data collected from more than 450 residents of the city of Seattle, USA, and the similarities were incredible.
Will the satellite's brightness be "etched" into our DNA?
The study tried to determine differences in sleep patterns based on moonlight. That is, the full moon and the days leading up to it are the brightest nights. Then, the indigenous people (some of whom had no access at all or had limited access to electricity) stayed up late on bright moon nights. On balance, these communities recorded almost an hour less sleep than on other nights of the month.
This discovery, in itself, would be quite interesting just because it gives us a glimpse of how our pre-industrial ancestors behaved, influenced by the different phases of the Moon. However, the study showed an even more impressive conclusion after the data Seattle have been included.
According to what was perceived, the city residents, despite having access to artificial light in so many ways, also exhibited different sleep patterns based on the lunar phase.
The fact that this modulation is present even in communities with full access to electric light suggests that these effects are mediated by something other than the moonlight itself.
Leandro Casiraghi, lead author of the investigation, explained to CNN.
But how can the Moon be affecting people if light is not the only factor?
In fact, this is still the dark part of the event. However, researchers have their theories. One of these theories is that humans have internal clocks that regulate more than just the 24-hour day and sleep / wake cycles.
Many animals have instinctive responses to the times of the year, even though seasonal changes do not bring about dramatic changes in the climate. So it's possible that humans have had a similar adaptation for a long time, and that staying up late when the moon shines is etched into our DNA. Of course, this is just a theory.