The Moon! That mystical celestial object in the sky that inspires poetry, astrology, myths, and love. We all admire the beauties of the night, romantically sprinkled with the gentle light of the stars and the calm reflection of the Moon. Often, the Moon is our only witness when we make love. Under the moonlight, we cry, stay awake and give ourselves away to worries, dreams, and plans. Many times the Moon can see us hugging our crying baby and singing softly. Many times the Moon is our best friend in the silence of the night.
However, some people see the Moon as a rock that orbits the Earth, just a satellite in the Solar System. Let's remember that the first people who landed on the Moon were Armstrong and Aldrin, making one giant leap for mankind. That has given science fiction some inspiration, and we all have seen films about people exploring living options on the Moon. Who knows? Maybe one day!...
In fact, the Moon affects the life on Earth – it affects the earth tides, the weather and... people's biological clocks, especially the female rhythm. That's not surprising as the Moon is often associated with the female side of life, while the Sun is the masculine power. That has become a subject of scientific exploration and here are some scientific explanations how and why the Moon affects our rhythm:
15 What Science Can't Figure Out
Those bloody 28 days! Menstruation is one of the most important processes in life, the foundation of life. There are many myths about the menstrual cycle: in some cultures, women weren't allowed to eat with their families during their monthly bleeding, in others, women weren't allowed to bathe due to superstitious. Menstruation is also the main concept in the famous Freud's Oedipus complex – men fear menstruation as they link bleeding to castration. Some men still have a childish attitude towards this normal body process, and some girls are still ashamed of their own body. It's interesting that in our man's world, pads and tampons are seen as products of luxury – not necessity.
There's a definite link between these two important things: our menstruation and the Moon. The length of our period is the same as the lunar cycle. Also, our menstruation and ovulation are affected by the Moon. In addition, some phases can improve fertility as they affect our hormones and emotions. Science believes in that but still can't prove how.
What's more, the cycles of the Moon symbolize the cycles we go through: different phases and different stages of life.
14 When Drives Spike
Ovulation is linked to menstruation, of course. When women want to get pregnant they often follow different scientific and common myths to get pregnant. Actually, there's a Traditional Chinese Medicine movement that teaches us how to synchronize our cycle with the lunar cycle. If we do that, we can ovulate around the full moon and menstruate around new moon.
That can increase fertility. Women are more aroused around full moon and they are more fertile around a new moon.
In addition, a study revealed that light affects the production of a hormone involved in the monthly cycle of the woman.
However, some people don't believe in that and as Professor Sheena Lewis, of Queen’s University Belfast, laughs: ‘The only relationship between period and the full moon is that they both occur once every four weeks.’
13 Sleep Slips Through The Cracks
Although many myths exist about the role of the Moon in our lives, there's one definite scientific proof about its importance: the Moon affects our sleep, especially full moon nights. We become anxious and we often experience insomnia.
There might be an evolutionary explanation behind it as people were able to hunt better when the nights were brighter. That can be somehow printed in people's mind and we still can't sleep when it's a full moon.
In addition, a study conducted by Swiss scientists showed that during a full moon, the deep sleep phases decrease by 30%. Actually, that was caused by decreased levels of melatonin.
Unfortunately, regular problems and sleep disturbances can grow into insomnia, which contains a lot of health risks. Going to bed at the same time, letting some fresh air in and doing some yoga before bed can be helpful.
12 The Full Moon Makes It So
Women are known for their mood swings. We cry when we see kittens, we laugh when we are tired, we melt when we see a baby, we get angry over small arguments, we can hate and then easily forgive. Our hormones affect the emotions we go through and the feelings we experience.
But did you know that the Moon also affects our emotions? We become more anxious, nervous and irritated at a full moon. There's a charity called the Spiritual Science Research Foundation. So they have found out that factors, such as illumination, phases, and the gravitational pull of the Moon affect people's emotions.
Not only that! For example, when the Moon is full it's more likely for people to be more active and creative as the energy levels are higher, as full as the Moon.
11 A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?
Emotions and behavior are interconnected. Therefore, if the Moon really affects our emotions, it's normal for it to affect our behavior. Let's say that we are more irritated than usual. Well, then it's more likely to start an argument for no reason, right?
We can't say if these are myths, a reality or just a phenomenon known as the self-fulfilling prophecy. Anyway, people strongly believe that the Moon increases the levels of aggression – even among women. That's why in Brighton, UK, authorities decided to implement a curious practice: there are more officers in the city when the Moon is full.
Also, full moon nights lead to antisocial behavior, especially among schizophrenics. We don't know yet as to why. Some people believe it's because of the effects the Moon has on the water.
10 Confirmation Bias
The effects of the Moon on people is known as the Transylvanian effect. Scary, eh? As emotions and behavior affect our health, our mental health can also suffer.
Although full moon nights make some mental patients more aggressive, we should consider that in some cases, that can be only a result of a phenomenon known as the “confirmation bias”. When we look for something to prove that we are right, we often find stuff, real or not. Let's say that we are convinced we can't sleep well. Then, we definitely can start experiencing difficulties with falling asleep.
In fact, when we anticipate some effects, that can really cause a decrease in our mental health. Imagine expecting to go through some strange symptoms because of something you can't control? That can really make us anxious and mad.
9 It Strikes When Least Expected
A scientific fact is that seizures can be affected by the Moon – actually, not the phases of the Moon but its brightness. That was concluded after an in-depth observation in a statistical study that had to investigate the occurrence and frequency of seizures in people suffering from epilepsy. Experts found that the frequency of seizures that some patients experience is negatively correlated with the brightness of the Moon. It's not only the Moon, though, in new moon nights with clear and bright skies, the risks were higher as well. That shows that the level of nocturnal luminance, but not the Moon and its phases, are a factor that should be considered.
Not that having a quiet and dark environment can help patients suffering from epilepsy.
8 When The Crazy Kicks In
As mentioned above, in 2007, Brighton, UK, started putting more officers on duty when the Moon is full as authorities, mainly Scotland Yard, think that there's more crime during full moon nights. People really go crazy. Suicide, assaults, psychiatric admissions. In addition, a study published in 1982 showed that traffic accidents were more frequent when the Moon was full. Crime rates were higher even among women.
And animals. Of course I'm not comparing women to animals... even though we often bite our men. It's been proven that animals are also affected by the Moon and they often go crazy. The Bradford Royal Infirmary in the north of England found that many patients were admitted with animal (dog, rat, cat and horse) bites when there was a full moon. Believe it or not, but it's true.
7 Myths Not To Be Ignored
As mentioned above, only sleep and seizures have been scientifically connected with the Moon.
However, many people believe in the effects the Moon and its phases have on people and animals. Hollywood and all horror movies have influenced our ideas and we often associate the Moon with horrific creatures and animals. Serial killers also live their dreams under the full moon.
That's what the phenomenon “illusory correlation”, coined by the psychologist Loren and Jean Chapman, consists of. People have some associations that don't exist in real life, but that they strongly believe in. As researchers explain, it's just like the joint pain people feel during rainy weather. Still, there's no scientific proof that that's true.
However, we shouldn't forget that science can't explain many things in life, so let's not ignore the strong influence of the Moon.
6 All Parts Of Astrology
Astrology is part of this science that can't fit in evidence-based science. Still, many people believe in horoscopes and birth charts. We can see that some signs actually share similar traits: air, water, earth and fire, a diversity of beauty. When we talk about zodiac signs, we often focus on the Sun. However, let's not forget that all the planets in the Solar System, plus the Moon, are important parts in people's birth charts.
Generally speaking, the Moon rules Cancer and it is associated with our deepest needs and desires. It symbolizes the Mother because it circles the Sun and protects people. When we are under the influence of the Moon, we are very creative and intuitive. However, like any woman, the Moon has her negative side: people can become moody and irrational.
5 A New Moon
The phases of the Moon are some of the most important aspects that affect women's emotions and behavior. According to observations, science, and astrology, the New Moon is when we can set our intentions and goals. We can plan and decide on important issues because everyone wants to have a great start in life.
It's believed that when the Moon is new, people can really organize their thoughts and start working towards their brighter future. Even if we are impulsive, some planning is always good.
In addition, we all need some quiet nights to be productive during our busy days. As a commercial for mattresses goes, better sleep for brighter days. It's true, though: we all need our nights!
4 The Waxing Moon
Okay, we've set our goals, so it's time to start working towards our dreams. When the Moon is waxing, people say, our energy is increasing as well and we can accomplish our dreams. It's more or less symbolic. Like the growing Moon, our energy is getting more and more powerful and we are ready to conquer the world.
Actually, to be energetic, we need some good sleep. Especially, when we consider the fact that an average woman sleeps only 6 hours, not 8, according to the National Sleep Foundation. It's not only about the hours and how fast we can fall asleep, it's all about the quality of sleep. If we wake up 10 times a night, then even 12 hours in bed won't make us feel better. Sleep is crucial for people's life, so sometimes leave work and parties behind and just read a nice book in bed.
3 A Full Moon
That mystical Full Moon. As revealed above, the Full Moon is the main subject of exploration in the fields of science, psychology, and astrology. In addition, there's another strange phenomenon: the influence of the Full Moon can help us improve our performance in general. So, if we set our goals when the Moon is new and if we become more energetic when the Moon is waxing, then the Full Moon is the time when we finally can see the results of our actions. Work, family life, motherhood, travels, everything can flourish during full moon nights.
Then it's time to celebrate your success: simply enjoy your accomplishments under the beauty of the Full Moon. Let your family, the stars in your life, be next to you!
2 When The Moon Is Waning
In the end, it's time to welcome the final phase of the lunar cycle: the nights when the Moon is waning. The Moon is getting smaller and smaller and the brightness of the sky is saying goodbye to all the lovers and explorers underneath it.
Then it's time to throw all your trash away. Do not regret about things you couldn't achieve. Forget about friends you've lost and people that are not in your life anymore. When we become moms, it's strange how people forget about you and your baby, but work for a better future for you, your little one and the new people who'll you eventually meet. Do not be upset about past relationships.
You don't need this emotional trash: empty your soul. Well, if you are not too busy, clean your house as well.
1 Folklore Has It's Place
The Moon is not only an object in the skies. It's unique: it affects the Earth, animals, and people. As we said earlier, its influence on women is crucial: sleep, menstruation, emotions and goals in life are all interconnected and ruled by the Moon.
The effect the Moon has on people is called Transylvanian effect. Transylvania is a beautiful region in Romania, Europe, embraced by the Carpathian mountains. And we all know that Dracula, the dreadful vampire, that drinks blood comes from there. Actually, Vlad Dracula or Vlad the Impaler was a real person – a cruel ruler who influenced the myth about Count Dracula. But people kind of always prefer myths instead of facts.
So the Moon became a crucial part of our folklore. Vampires, werewolves and even zombies, they all go mad under the Full Moon. Witches dance under the Moon, bats transform into vampires, dead people come out of their graves, and much more.
People fear these creatures, just like men sometimes fear women. And let's not blame them: we do go crazy from time to time.
Sources: BerekelyWellness.com, DailyMail.co.uk, EliteDaily.com, Menstruation.com.au, ScientificAmerican.com, SteadyHealth.com