The Moon would not affect men’s and women’s sleep in the same way

A Swedish team of scientists carried out a study on the impact of the lunar cycles on the sleep of men and women. The sleep of 852 participants was studied between 2001 and 2018 in Uppsala, Sweden. Among the subjects, 492 women and 360 men aged 22 to 81 were tested with a polysomnograph – a measuring device that records sleep to identify potential disorders. Scientists noticed that men’s and women’s sleep varied according to the phases of the moon, but also that sleep disturbances were different according to sex.

The nights studied were classified into two stages: the rising phase –from the new Moon until the full Moon– and the decreasing phase –from the first day after the full Moon until the day of the new Moon. For each subject, the scientists observed the actual time of sleep, the time between usual bedtime and the onset of sleep and falling asleep.

A sleep disturbed by the illumination of the moon

The team noticed that the sleep of the men and women tested decreased during the rising phase of the star. The most likely hypothesis is that the participants were disturbed by the light emitted by the Moon, considered more important until the full moon day. Conversely, during the decreasing sentence, the Moon reflects less sunlight on the Earth, which disturbs sleep less. Concretely, night light has an inhibitory effect on the secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone.

Surprisingly, the results reveal a difference between men and women: the Moon has more influence on the sleep of males. Their waking time before falling asleep increased and their total time asleep increased. decreased. On average, men lose twenty minutes of sleep during the rising period, while women lose only twelve. In men, wakefulness and sleep disturbances were greater. As for the fairer sex, despite a loss of sleep time, no difference was recorded on the quality of sleep between the rising and falling phase of the Moon.

However, the research team does not wish to assert with authority that there is a link between lunar cycles, sleep and the gender of individuals. Indeed, the research has not gone beyond the observation stage, which does not yet make it possible to induce causality between these factors.

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