Does the moon actually influence our health? Examining the science


We often hear through the grapevine that the moon can significantly impact our health – but how many of the rumors are true?

Old folklore suggests a full moon makes us humans act a little more crazy, and according to legend, the position of the moon in correlation to the earth actually affects the way that our bodies function. Do we behave more erratically? Do we all get a little angrier? Do our bodies operate in strange ways?

Let’s examine some of the ways that the moon high above supposedly affects us humans down here below…

Photo: Unsplash.com

It can affect the functions of our brain

We all know by now that the position of the moon affects the flow of tides in our oceans, so some scientists believe that our brains can be affected too – why? Because our brains are 73% water. According to research, the moon’s gravitational pull can have a range of different effects on brain function, but perhaps the most credible suggestion is that brain seizures become less common when a full moon is out. Apparently, it’s all down to the brightness of the moon rather than the moon’s lunar phases. Certainly plausible, right?

It can impact the function of our kidneys

More research also found that the full moon phase can have a negative impact on our kidneys – apparently, more people complained about kidney stone pain, and more people were admitted to hospital for urological problems. In contrast, when the new moon phase comes around, we have significantly fewer urological problems. Coincidence? Well, some scientists agree that this is again down to our kidneys being 60% water, meaning the ebb and flow causes stages of pain and calming feelings.

It can affect the quality of our sleep

Another suggestion is that our sleep is significantly impacted, too. According to numerous studies, our sleep is negatively affected due to lower levels of melatonin, causing us to have trouble nodding off to good quality sleep. Studies found that monitored participants actually took longer to fall asleep, had less REM sleep, and awoke 20 minutes earlier during the full moon phase. So, that’s bad news for any werewolves on the hunt!

It supposedly increases our birth rate

If you’re trying for a baby, perhaps give it a shot during the full moon, because apparently this is a significant phase when our birth rate sky-rockets. According to scientists, more babies are conceived when the gravitational pull is at its most powerful. Strange, right? Well, despite several studies agreeing that this is certainly the case, scientists are still unclear as to why this might be. Is it because there’s more love in the air when the moon is shining bright?

Photo: Unsplash.com

It can affect our mental health

If you didn’t already know, the word ‘lunatic’ actually derives from the word lunar. Old belief systems agreed that the moon’s gravitational pull significantly increases our aggression, violence, and general volatile and disturbing behavior. Although these suggestions are now, of course, outdated, new research has found that during full moon season, more people are admitted to psychiatric wards. In fact, the figures show that it’s actually more than double!

Take all of this published research with a pinch of salt, because there is also an endless list of studies that counteract their findings, too. Although science certainly speaks for itself, numerical findings and statistical analysis are often thought of as just numbers on a piece of paper.

Such beliefs about the effects of the moon need to be based on rational understanding, so it’s important we look at the facts as well as the figures. What do you think? Take good notice of things next time full moon season comes around – are there any strange happenings?