In 2018, psychiatrist David Avery and National Institute of Mental Health Emeritus Thomas Wehr published a joint study on how the moon can affect human well-being.
As it turned out, their colleagues over the years of studying this issue missed an extremely important point, reports Discovery Magazine.
The moon is closely related to many A̳n̳c̳i̳e̳n̳t̳ cultures. In the old days, people endowed moon with mystical properties, personified her with a goddess capable of influencing the fate of a person.
Even in the modern world, there are many who believe that the position of heavenly bodies can affect mood and behavior.
Over the past decades, science has repeatedly proven the opposite. Scientists have found no actual evidence that the moon can affect how humans behave. But all of them may have been wrong, because they were looking for something completely wrong.
What pattern have the scientists noticed?
Thomas Wehr first became interested in how the moon can affect people in the 70s. He is considered one of the pioneers in research on sleep disorders and circadian rhythms.
In his work, he examined data from 17 patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder, finding an interesting pattern. The patients’ mood and activity swings were consistent with the cycles of the moon.
However, the scientist did not have enough data for a full-fledged article. In addition, his subjects did not keep records of their condition.
The necessary “gap” in his materials was filled by psychiatrist David Avery. In 2004, he was treating a patient with progressive affective disorder. According to the doctor, he was a highly organized and methodical person who regularly suffered from sleep deprivation.
For two weeks, the patient slept 12 hours a day, was alert, fresh and in a good mood. For another two weeks – he didn’t get enough sleep, felt constant apathy and sadness.
At the request of the doctor, the man began to keep a sleep diary. And, as it turned out later, his sleep clearly corresponded to the cycles of ebb and flow.
During a full moon or a new moon, he slept badly, but when the Earth satellite was in the phase of the first or last quarter, the night passed quietly.
So can the moon affect a person’s mood?
The study authors are confident that the answer is yes.
In their opinion, the vestibular apparatus, which is responsible for circadian rhythms, and, as a result, healthy sleep, falls under the influence of the moon’s gravity, which affects the well-being and mood of a person, because he does not get enough sleep.