Insomnia during full moon?

  • Thread starter bajsi
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  • #26
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What! How early do you go to sleep? The full moon begins rising as the sun is setting!
From when the full moon rises to where I can see it above a hill and very tall trees, it's very high in the sky. Moonrise is scheduled to start at 10:53pm here according to the weather channel, so I can't see it until midnight or later, I'll try to check the time I can see it tonight, it's almost a full moon.
 
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  • #27
cjl
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not up North!
Actually, it doesn't matter where you are - dipole's statement is true regardless. It's simply a geometric fact - a full moon will be 180 degrees off of where the sun is in the sky, so it will be rising as the sun is setting.
 
  • #28
Pythagorean
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If you want to define "setting" pedantically sure, but we don't see a real sunset by the time the moon is out, being tilted toward the sun in the summer. And in the winter the moon comes up after the sun has already gone down because the Earth is in the way. Perspective.
 
  • #29
cjl
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If you want to define "setting" pedantically sure, but we don't see a real sunset by the time the moon is out, being tilted toward the sun in the summer. And in the winter the moon comes up after the sun has already gone down because the Earth is in the way. Perspective.
That still should not be the case though. Yes, because you are tilted towards the sun, you will get more than 12 hours of sunlight in the summer, but that will be offset by the fact that you are tilted away from the moon (and therefore it is up for less than 12 hours). These two effects will still result in moonrise coinciding with sunset (and vice versa). The same will be true in the winter, except with the sunlight duration reduced (and moonlight duration increased).
 
  • #30
Pythagorean
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Perhaps you are neglecting that the moon's orbit is inclined five degrees to the Sun's path (otherwise we would have a solar eclipse every full moon).

Also, not just more than 12 hours, but 24! The sun doesn't set for a couple days, it just kind of circles (and the moon peeks out as the sun sun skims the horizon).
 
  • #32
Elen67
I have suffered with sleeplessness during Full moon period for a few years. The light may be of some significance but there is very little attention given to the gravitational pull at full moon phases. I find it curious that if the moon controls tides and female cycle that there would be doubts about other effects on our bodies. It would be useful if a scientific programme was started with sleep studies to work out who suffers and why. For me, this last August moon was 5 days of no sleep. the most intense period ever. It could be because I am in menopause. Whatever happens, its affecting melatonin levels in my body and makes me feel wide awake. Be great to talk to a physicist about this?
 
  • #33
Borg
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I sleep just fine during a full moon. I haven't bothered to document it in a journal or anything like that. It would be useful if someone did a study. :rolleyes:
 
  • #34
Dembadon
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First of all, I'm rather new to this forum and I didn't know where to put this thread, but I think General Discussion will do.
Just recently I've been talking with my friend about how we can't sleep when the Moon is in its full stage, and I think some of you might also have this "problem".
The point is, we were trying to figure out why is that the case. My friend tried to came up with some paranormal activities and so on, while I was trying to figure some scientific way to prove it. The only thing I could came up with so far was that the Moon was a bit closer to the Earth while in full stage (honestly, I don't know if that's the case) and that screwed up a little with humans brain, or that the amount of light reflected by the Moon was larger than at any other phase, and that also made some impact on our brains.
The question is (regardless if any of the above are correct) why this insomnia effect is not the case with all the people (or none).

Thoughts?
You and those experiencing something similar are probably lycanthropes. Get help immediately before you hurt somebody, or worse, find yourself in teen movies.
 
  • #35
lisab
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I have suffered with sleeplessness during Full moon period for a few years. The light may be of some significance but there is very little attention given to the gravitational pull at full moon phases. I find it curious that if the moon controls tides and female cycle that there would be doubts about other effects on our bodies. It would be useful if a scientific programme was started with sleep studies to work out who suffers and why. For me, this last August moon was 5 days of no sleep. the most intense period ever. It could be because I am in menopause. Whatever happens, its affecting melatonin levels in my body and makes me feel wide awake. Be great to talk to a physicist about this?
Physicist, no. Physician, yes. Please seek medical advice - five days without sleep is quite abnormal and unhealthy.
 
  • #36
tacitus81
Sorry to sign up just to comment on this thread, but it's one of the few that keeps on coming up in searches and I suspect others are also coming across it. Trying to commit as few faux pas as possible.

I've had long enough time series to confirm that something goes wonky around this time of the month. Sleep is disrupted and there are psychological difficulties. There are signs it's genetic - we can trace behavioral instabilities up one branch of the family tree and it's resulted in an en masse diagnosis of really cyclical familial bipolar disorder, not otherwise specified, please don't have kids.

There are signs that our version of bipolar is related to dysregulation of the molecular clocks Pythagorean mentions. For example, when we remember to take it, melatonin has done wonders and not just for sleep. (N.B. Forgot it this time, wasn't paying attention.) We suspect that our version will eventually be diagnosed as a mitochondrial, metabolic disorder, not only because it's followed the women down the line.

http://hmg.oxfordjournals.org/content/14/2/241.short

I'm certainly not saying that everyone who is awake right now has an illness, but we might share bits and pieces of the genes that in less lucky families results in systematic failures of some subsystem. It might be worthwhile to think of it in evolutionary terms - there are obvious advantages for people who find themselves more active when there's more light, less when there's less - but it'd be terribly disruptive if everybody were like this.

If it's actually the case that we're still entrained, I'm much more likely to believe that it's about sensing the moon phase through changes in the environment than a direct interaction with the moon. Plants, for example, contain markers for moon phase:

http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1579/0044-7447-31.6.485
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0025315400009565 (very old, but interesting as it claims the moonlight is not responsible!)

Bugs do, birds do, fish do, etc. I would not be surprised if microorganisms do. So perhaps the moon is ultimately to blame, but organisms were sensing it a thousand million years before we got to the scene. We wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel by sensing the moon phase directly - we'd probably be led in that direction by food sources that entrained us. If we are looking for a way to sense the moon phase, there are so many markers on the ground.

I'm not saying physics has no say here - light is a zeitgeber - but the answer is probably in evolutionary biology.
 
  • #37
Pythagorean
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I have suffered with sleeplessness during Full moon period for a few years. The light may be of some significance but there is very little attention given to the gravitational pull at full moon phases. I find it curious that if the moon controls tides and female cycle that there would be doubts about other effects on our bodies. It would be useful if a scientific programme was started with sleep studies to work out who suffers and why. For me, this last August moon was 5 days of no sleep. the most intense period ever. It could be because I am in menopause. Whatever happens, its affecting melatonin levels in my body and makes me feel wide awake. Be great to talk to a physicist about this?
There is no evidence of the moon's effect on menstrual cycle.

Tides are explainable. The moon causes tides because of the differential of force from one side of the planet to the other. The moon's total force is actually much much smaller than the sun's. Humans are essentually just a point particle compared to the Earth, so the differential effect does not affect us.
 

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