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Full Moon Affecting Moods

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In the month of October, it will be that time of year when we will see something spectacular. On the night of October 23rd, for North America anyway, the Full Hunter’s Moon will light up our nighttime skies.

While some may use this magnificent moon to do some stargazing or get out their cameras and shoot pictures of this once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence, others use this time to study their own moods and behaviors. Of course, we all know that the full moon has long been associated with strange behavior. Some of us may even say that “lunacy” can be attributed to lunar cycles.

The science behind this phenomenon is actually quite simple (although the psychology aspect is not). The moon’s gravity affects the Earth’s oceans, and as such, everything on its surface. This change in tides is that blood volume fluctuates as well, which can cause chemical changes in our brains that can affect moods and behavior.

Does a full moon make kids go crazy?

Ask your neighborhood police, educators, or the hospital staff what changes they see in people’s characters. They have all noted that when the moon is full, crime rates soar, sleep is disturbed, and we all start acting a little “crazier.”

What makes children become more “hyper” when they usually wouldn’t or make them moody? The answer may be even simpler than you think. Think about when you were a child and how your moods might have been affected by the full moon. If it wasn’t your mood, maybe someone else’s was affected, like a friend or sibling. This demonstrates that children can be even more sensitive to lunar cycles than we give them credit for, which opens possibilities of the unknown (in a good way, of course). Parents might want to keep this in mind when picking out their babysitter for the next full moon.

An international team of researchers, led by Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput from the Eastern Ontario Research Institute, recently studied the effect of the full moon on sleep and behavior in children.  Turns out, that no activity or behavior was significantly modified by the full moon. There was one exception: sleep. Participants slept five fewer minutes on nights when the moon was full.

Myths do not die easily though. And it probably won’t be long before another study attempts to link our biology to the lunar cycle. Maybe the moon affects adults more than children. Or perhaps it has special influence on those with mental disorders or physical ailments.

Most people who claim to be affected by the full moon are those who suffer from mental illnesses. However, researchers have found that the full moon can affect these two chemicals in the brain, serotonin, and melatonin. Serotonin is a chemical responsible for your moods, while melatonin controls your sleep/wake cycle. The effects of increased or decreased levels of these chemicals are exhibited as anxiety, depression, or restlessness.

Ways a full moon make your body ache?

Ways it affects health:

  • Heart
  • Brain
  • Kidneys
  • Sleep
  • Birthrate
  • Injuries
  • Menstrual Cycle

Women sometimes link up their menstrual cycles with other women menstruating at the same time. This is because of the fluctuations in hormones that happen during the cycle, and it also means that they are more sensitive to lunar changes than usual.

The full moon doesn’t just affect moods and behavior, though. There are reports of people experiencing heightened senses during these times, including scent, hearing, and even sight.

One theory behind this is that since the moon affects the tides on Earth, it also affects other bodies in space such as water on asteroids and mare (or seas) on the moon.  This means that the full moon can cause stronger tides in space, which could thus affect our ability to smell odors and hear sounds.

Another theory folks believe is that the full moon affects gravity on things here on Earth, including our bodies. This would mean that each one of us becomes denser or lighter during these lunar events, which affects our senses.

Maybe you’ve never been affected by the full moon before, but this year will be a little different after all. You can still sit outside and enjoy the stars or take a nice walk around your neighborhood under the light of a hunter’s moon. Just make sure that if it does get to be too much for you, you find a quiet place to rest and recuperate. You have all of space to explore under this moon, so don’t let the darkness get you down.

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