Does the brain have a lunar clock?

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full moon sleep problem

Having sleep problems?

Did you find it difficult to sleep last night? Was it the noisy birds, the snoring,  or simply too much light of a silvery moon?

Researchers at the University of Basel have re-evaluated the results of a 10-year-old sleep study and compared its results with the states of the moon throughout the time it ran.

Volunteers from the age of 20 to 74 had their sleep monitored in controlled isolation conditions, free from natural light. When scientists studied non-rapid eye movement levels of melatonin, sleep quality and length of time taken to get to sleep, all were lower at the time of the full moon and considerably improved during the new moon.

Team leader Christian Cajochen explained, “we know that everyone has their own 24-hour circadian rhythm, so if we assume that everyone experiences the lunar cycle, maybe there could be a circa luna clock in the brain too.” Further studies are planned.

If you do have sleep problems aim for an early night on a new moon!

 

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