Does the moon really affect our health? | Right away

There are countless myths about the moon: women would give birth on a full moon earlier and we would sleep worse. Does the moon really affect our health? “Believing in the moon is what you have to do, but it’s not reliable,” says astronomer Peter Barthel.

The idea that the moon is doing something to us is not so crazy. It is a celestial body that is so strong that it pulls out entire oceans and lets it flow. Couldn’t this moon also do something with our body, which is mostly made of water?

Lunar disease, Crazy (Lunatics), werewolves and the effects of an attractive moon on our system are indeed fascinating, says Barthel, an astronomer and professor at the University of Groningen. “But they’re not only fascinating, they’re also unt like it,” he continues. “Feeling the influence of the moon is a belief. That’s what you need to do, but it’s not reliable.”

“When the moon is full, it is lighter and we are annoying to fall asleep.

Peter Barthels, astronomer

Leave the unmasking of lunar myths to science. There is no link between the state of the moon and human behaviour or well-being, Completed Ivan kelly, James Rotton and Roger Culver of the University of Saskatchewan in the early 1990s. They are responsible for the largest scientific research on the effects of the moon ever conducted.

No effect, i.e. no publication

In 2014 Examined Martin Dresler from Radboud University and colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich on the influence of the moon on sleep.

There is no demonstrable correlation between the lunar cycle and the quality of sleep, they say. Dresler examined sleep data from published and unpublished studies and saw no link between sleep quality and lunar state.

He speaks of a bias of publication. Some studies were never published consciously or unconsciously precisely because they showed no connection. This creates the idea that the moon affects sleep, Dresler says.

A full moon. (Photo: Rausch)

Outside it’s easier

The idea of insomnia from a full moon can be explained, say the American scientists. When the moon is full, it is lighter outside, which makes it harder for us to fall asleep. In addition, people are more likely to be active late at night and go outside with all the consequences that this entails.

Special events are better illuminated and recalled because the moon glowed so brightly. Like that night you gave birth, saw an animal walking around strangely or an accident happened.

These myths are perpetuated by the media, the researchers say. “Because of the constant connection between full moon and human behavior, it is not surprising that such beliefs are widespread.”

With ten scientific studies, the media likes to choose a single source that tells us that the moon was full on that night of the accident, crime, or other particular event, the scientists argue.

“Hey, another “Moon Birth!””

A refresher course by the astronomer Barthel: The moon does not shine by itself, but is radiated by the sun that radiates the earth. At full moon, the side of the moon towards the Earth is fully illuminated.

Despite all the scientific research that has been done, there are still many people who believe in the power of the moon. Pseudoscience astrology has a completely different view and firmly believes in the relationship between the moon and our health.

Astrologer Anneke Kruis is convinced of the effect of celestial bodies on mind and body. A full moon is a good time to take stock of your life, she says. “The moon reflects the light of the sun and so full moon is an excellent time to reflect on your own health or state of mind. A new moon is a starting point. This energy is palpable.”

According to Barthel, this is a belief, but not a fact. The above-mentioned scientific studies expose astrology. How is it that people continue to believe in it, for example by saying that there are more births with a full moon?

Women don’t give birth more often at full moon

Statistics show that no more women give birth when the moon is full, Barthel says. But he says it is possible to explain where the idea came from. “The moon seems to be full for a week a month, and when a midwife has given birth to a baby and goes to her car, she thinks at such a near or complete full moon: Look, another ‘moon birth’! With a crescent moon or no moon, she thinks nothing.”

In the past, the meetings took place in the moonlight, because the participants did not want to walk in the ditch. And sowing at full moon simply gives more light to germinating seeds so it can grow faster, Barthel said. According to the astronomer, many lunar myths are not about lunar forces, but about physiology (biological science that investigates life operations).

But there is also a secret for the scientist: the female menstrual cycle. “It’s almost as long as the lunar cycle, and it’s never been properly explored. It’s a curiosity. We don’t get that.’