Full Moon can shorten children’s sleep by five minutes, confirms study

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The full moon does not make kids hyperactive. In a new study, scientists revealed that the full moon decreases the sleep time of kids by five minutes on an average.

However, clinically sleeping five minutes less doesn’t represent a considerable threat to health. One of the researchers, Jean-Philippe Chaput from the Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Canada said, “Overall, I think we should not be worried about the full moon. Our behaviours are largely influenced by many other factors like genes, education, income and psychosocial aspects rather than by gravitational forces.”

The International group of researchers researched on children to see whether their sleeping patterns changed. Also, they tried to figure out if the kids were showing some difference in physical activities, in order to explore whether lunar phases somehow do affect humans.

Explaining the study, Chaput said, “We considered that performing this research on children would be particularly more relevant because they are more amenable to behaviour changes than adults and their sleep needs are greater than adults.”

The research team has conducted the study on 5,812 children from five continents. These participants were from a wide range of economic and socio-cultural levels, and variables such as age, sex, highest education, day of measurement, body mass index score, nocturnal sleep duration, level of physical activity and total sedentary time were considered.

The scientists stated that they collected data in a period of 28 months, which is equivalent to the same number of lunar cycles. Moreover, these lunar cycles were then sub-divided in three phases such as new moon, half moon and full moon.

The results of the research suggested that the average sleep time during full moon is decreased by five minutes as compared to the new moon, or roughly one percent less than the typical number of hours they get on ordinary nights.

In addition, the findings revealed that no other activity behaviours were substantially changed.
“The only significant finding was the one percent sleep alteration in full moon, and this is largely explained by our large sample size that maximises statistical power,” Chaput said.

The study appeared in the journal Frontiers in Pediatrics.

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