Another Possibility Is That Patients Are Responding To The Moons Gravitational Pull In The Same Way The Oceans Do: Through Tidal Forces
However, although cryptochrome is also an essential component of the human circadian clock, it works slightly differently to the version operating in fruit flies. It looks like human and other mammalian cryptochrome no longer binds flavin, and without flavin, we dont know how the magnetically sensitive chemistry would be triggered, says Alex Jones, a physicist at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, UK. From that regard, I think it is unlikely that cryptochromes are sensitive to magnetic fields, unless there are some other molecules inside humans that can detect magnetic fields.
Another possibility is that Wehr and Averys patients are responding to the Moons gravitational pull in the same way the oceans do: through tidal forces. A common argument against this is that, although humans are up to 75% water, they possess far smaller quantities of it than an ocean. Humans are made out of water, but the pull is so weak that it would be difficult to see how that would work from a physical point of view, says Kyriacou.
Even so, he nods to studies in Arabadopsis thaliana suggesting that their root growth follows a 24.8-hour cycle the amount of time it takes the Moon to complete one full orbit of Earth. These are incredibly small changes, which can only be detected with extremely sensitive devices, but now there are over 200 publications to support this, says Joachim Fisahn, a biophysicist at the Max Planck Institute of Plant Physiology in Potsdam, Germany.
Relief Of Varying Symptoms
The effects of THC in the body may depend on many factors, such as dose, frequency, personality, and how you take it smoked or ingested, for example.
This is why for some people, smoked cannabis may bring on some euphoria and excitation, while for some others, the effects include relaxation and sedation.
For example, a 2005 research review indicated that THC could reduce anxiety symptoms in some doses but could have the opposite effect in higher doses.
The same review indicated other pharmacological properties of THC that could be therapeutic for some people with bipolar disorder, such as:
- improvement in mood
- hypnotic effects
Older anecdotal information also suggests that some people find smoking cannabis beneficial for treating some of their bipolar symptoms. Specifically, this report from 1998 based on limited case studies found these effects:
- relief of prescription medication side effects
- relief of manic symptoms, including rage
2015 study suggests cannabis use is associated with more positive emotions in some people with bipolar disorder.
The results of the study have a few limitations, though. For one, the study sample consisted of only 24 participants.
Also, those participants who experienced subsequent positive affect after using cannabis were already feeling well and not experiencing severe bipolar symptoms at the moment.
One Recent Study Suggested That Outdoor Criminal Activity May Be Higher When There Is More Moonlight
A key problem, says Vladyslav Vyazovskiy, a University of Oxford sleep researcher, is that neither study monitored individual patients sleep over an entire lunar month, or many months. The only way to approach this is systematically, would be to record the very same individual over time and continuously over different phases, he adds.
This is precisely what Wehr did in his study of bipolar patients in some cases, tracking the dates of their mood episodes for years. Because people differ in how they respond to these lunar cycles, even if you were to average together all the data Ive collected, Im not sure you would find anything, says Wehr. The only way to find anything is to look at each person individually over time, and then the patterns pop out.
When he did this, Wehr found that his patients fell into one of two categories: some peoples mood swings appeared to follow a 14.8-day cycle, others a 13.7-day cycle although some of them occasionally switched between these cycles.
Ancient philosophers believed that the Moon caused maddness and is the origin of the word “lunacy”
It is these roughly two-week cycles in the height of the tides that Wehrs patients appear to synchronise with. Its not that they necessarily switch into depression or mania every 13.7 or 14.8 days, it’s just that if that switch from depression to mania occurs, it doesnt happen at just any old time, it tends to occur during a certain phase of the lunar tidal cycle, says Avery.
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What Is A Mood Disorder
A mood disorder is a mental health condition that primarily affects your emotional state. Its a disorder in which you experience long periods of extreme happiness, extreme sadness or both. Certain mood disorders involve other persistent emotions, such as anger and irritability.
Its normal for your mood to change, depending on the situation. However, for a mood disorder diagnosis, symptoms must be present for several weeks or longer. Mood disorders can cause changes in your behavior and can affect your ability to perform routine activities, such as work or school.
Two of the most common mood disorders are depression and bipolar disorder.
Links Between Moon Cycles And The Human Brain
Lunar cycles affect the human brain.
Though many people think that full moons cause a rise in crime, psychiatric admissions, and suicidality, research doesnt support this. Nor does this support a surge in emergency room visits during a full moon.
Research does support that there are changes in the human brain structures dependent on the lunar cycle.
For example, one small 2022 study with 15 healthy individuals found differences in the size and volume of brain structures across the four lunar cycles, such as the:
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Expert Says Its All About Light
The point of all this is humans are really light sensitive, said Dr. Steven H Feinsilver, director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.
We all have a circadian rhythm, a built-in body clock, it doesnt necessarily run a 24-hour cycle, and probably runs slower in most people a 25-hour cycle, he said.
Its exposure to light that trains us into a normal 24-hour cycle, he said, and that light is the thing that really turns your brain on.
Feinsilver was unsure about lunar gravity having any appreciable effect on sleep.
We can talk about that its possible its not light, he said, but the gravitational pull of the moon, and thats a lot harder to understand, theres not even a biological known basis for that.
In Theory The Light Of A Full Moon Might Disrupt Peoples Sleep Which Could Influence Their Mood
Anne Wirz-Justice, a chronobiologist at the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel, Switzerland, describes Wehr’s data on this relationship between lunar and manic-depressive cycles as believable but complex.
One has no idea what the mechanisms are, she adds.
In theory, the light of a full Moon might disrupt peoples sleep, which could influence their mood. This is particularly true of bipolar patients, whose mood episodes are often precipitated by disrupted sleep or circadian rhythms 24-hour oscillations in our biology and behaviour, which can become disrupted as a result of shift work or taking a long-haul flight. Theres even evidence that sleep deprivation can be used to lift bipolar patients out of depression.
Supporting the idea that the Moon might somehow be affecting patients sleep, Wehr has found that as the days progress, their wake time moves steadily later, while their sleep time remains the same, meaning that the amount of time they sleep for grows longer and longer, until it abruptly shortens. This so-called phase jump is often related to the onset of mania.
Even so, Wehr considers moonlight an unlikely candidate.
There are some theories that bright moonlight at the peak of the lunar cycle might disrupt people’s sleep and lead to mood changes
One idea is that this triggers subtle fluctuations in the Earths magnetic field, to which some people might be sensitive.
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How The Moon Affects All Life On Earth
There is no doubt that the moon has some impact on life on earth. For instance, the moon is responsible for tides. It provides varying amounts of light at night, depending on the phase. Many animals also use the lunar cycle as a type of clock, just as we use the sun.
An example of this is seen in migrating birds. Petrels in the Indian Ocean time their migrations using several factors, including the moon. They always arrive at their breeding grounds on a full moon.
Humanity Has Long Been Intrigued By The Moon Speculating How It May Affect Behavior New Evidence Links The Lunar Cycle And Bipolar Disorder Symptoms
Humanity has been intrigued by the moon since antiquity. Our passion for it is reflected in literary works, including the childrens book Good Night Moon, and news reports on moon-related events, such as the appearance of the blue moon. The moon has long guided farmers as they gathered their crops under the glow of the Harvest Moon, the bright, full moon that occurs closest to the start of autumn.
And, for many, there is a feeling of inescapable joy in walking in the light of a full moon. It is magical.
Pragmatists and down-to-Earth researchers have tested the hypothesis that more things happen during a full moon, or in sync with the lunar phase. Large studies generally show the lunar cycle is not associated with more ER visits or psychiatric hospitalizations. Yet a lingering question remains: Is human behavior influenced by the phases of the moon? The answer is unequivocally Yes.
A team of researchers from the U.S. and Argentina found human sleep cycles vary according to the 29.5-day lunar cycle, as reported in the journal Science Advances. As the moon waxes toward a full moon, people go to bed later and sleep shorter periods of time. This occurred among rural, indigenous people in Argentina, and urban-dwelling college students in Seattle, Washington, regardless of availability of electricity. Bedtimes varied by up to 30 minutes and the total amount of sleep differed from between 46 to 58 minutes across the lunar cycle. Later bedtimes were associated with less sleep.
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The Moon And Menstrual Cycles
The moon takes roughly a month to orbit the Earth. Since many menstrual cycles are about the same length, people have made a connection between the moon and its effects on menstrual periods but theyre not actually synchronized.
happens when you draw the wrong conclusion because you havent taken into account all the data just some of it.
For example, if you visit a new city and have a few unpleasant encounters with locals, you might come away thinking that everyone from that city is rude. In coming to that conclusion, youd be overlooking many positive or neutral interactions you had and focusing only on the negative ones.
Similarly, people may have noticed a behavioral episode or a traumatic incident and chalked it up to the full moon because theyve heard myths about an association between the two.
Can The Moon Affect Your Health And Behavior
All organisms conduct natural biological cycles for survival. When we talk about biological cycles, we probably most often think of our circadian rhythm our bodies internal 24-hour sleep-wake cycle and infradian rhythms like the 28-day menstrual cycle or seasonal affective disorder .
All of these biological cycles change based on internal and external factors. And since our human bodies are made up of 55% to about 78% of water, theres some reason to believe we, too, might be impacted by the moon, its light and its 27-day lunar cycle especially when you consider the moons gravitational pull on the earth is powerful enough to affect the ocean tides.
Research has shown that several species have adapted some of their biological cycles to line up with the lunar cycle. The reproductive cycle of marine animals like tropical corals during full moon nights, annelid worms during the waxing moon and the emergence of midges at neap tides is evidence of this lunar connection. A comprehensive overview of research highlights the moons effects on biological processes across multiple species related to activity levels, feeding rituals, photosensitivity, migration, molting patterns and more. But what about humans?
Any research thats been done has been considered controversial, in part, because studies on humans are conflicting, says Dr. Albers. In most cases, when theres been discussion of the moons effect on humans, its been anecdotal.
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Does Moon Phase Affect Sleep
The fact that the phase of the moon impacts sleep in patients with bipolar disorder could be a source of the myth of the full moon and mood. Its not just people with mental illness, though. A study of over 300 people sent to sleep centers for analysis and treatment found that they experienced less deep sleep and REM sleep during a full moon.
Another study analyzed the sleep patterns of indigenous people in Argentina and college students in Seattle. The researchers found that leading up to the full moon, people sleep less. The effect was more pronounced in the Argentinian community without electricity. This indicates that the light of the full moon is responsible for changes in sleep.
While there is limited evidence of the moon affecting moods directly, if it interferes with your sleep, it could change your mood and behaviors.
According to research, its unlikely you can blame any unusual behaviors or moods on a full moon. It does make sense, though, to be aware of how it could impact your sleep. If you find youre a little sleepier or irritable around the full moon, use strategies like meditation and exercise to improve your sleep.
Man’s Bipolar Mood Cycles Linked To The Moon
Urban legend suggests that full moons cause weird things. It’s not as far-fetched as one might think.
While the widespread belief that emergency rooms experience a surge in patients during a full moon is probably hokum, other aspects of the urban legend are not. Some animal behavior, for example, is definitely influenced by the lunar cycle. Could the same be true of humans? According to a recently published case study in Translational Psychiatry, the answer is yes.
The author observed the behavior of a 51-year-old man with bipolar disorder. Patients with bipolar disorder experience manic-depressive cycles. The depressive cycles resemble those of patients suffering from severe depression, while during manic cycles, patients are hyperactive. Sleep patterns are abnormal, with patients sleeping too much during depressive episodes and not enough during manic episodes. In a sort of vicious cycle, disturbances in sleep pattern appear to be both a cause and effect of manic-depressive episodes.
Sleep is governed by the circadian rhythm that is typically entrained to the 24-hour solar day. As the sun goes up and down, the human body’s metabolism responds accordingly. But the circadian rhythm in this study’s patient also appeared to rise and fall with the tides in other words, it was entrained not only to the solar day but to the 24.8-hour lunar cycle.
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A Starring Role In Creation
Whether or not the Moon influences human behavior to any great extent, our natural satellites major role in enabling life on Earth is unquestioned.
Billions of years ago, the Moon was positioned 10 times closer to the Earth, creating tides that were 1000 times higher than those we see today. These huge tides stripped minerals from coastal areas and added them to the oceans, which seems to have been an essential step in allowing life to evolve quickly in the water.
Associations Of Mood And Sleep With A Lunar Phase
Switches from depression into mania coincided with 29.5-day recurrences of the new moon, while switches from mania into depression coincided with 29.5-day recurrences of the full moontimes when the tidal cycles amplitude and its strength as a forcing cycle would have been the greatest .4). Both types of switches were associated with dramatic delay-type phase-jumps in the timing of wake onsets .4). The switches from depression into mania were also accompanied by one or more nights of total insomnia .
New-moon and full-moon surges in the tidal cycles strength as a forcing cycle were associated with 180° delay-type phase-jumps in wake-onset and with switches between depression and mania.Nights of total insomnia accompanied switches from depression to mania.
The display shows sections of raster plots from Fig. Fig.1.1. Absence of sleep is interpreted to have arisen from a simultaneity between sleep-onset and wake-onset that occurred when new-moon surges in amplitude of the tidal cycle caused the phase position of wake-onset to jump from 180° to 0° relative to the phase-position of sleep-onset
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Full Moon: Nasa Scientist Explains Why Moon Appears Brighter
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The first Full Moon of 2022 has come and gone, with the next one expected on February 16. Known as the Wolf Moon, it is believed the true meaning of January’s Full Moon can be traced back to early Native American Tribes who noticed packs of werewolves howling loudly on this key astrological date. With the next Full Moon just weeks away, it is believed the lunar event could have a significant impact on the weeks after it arrives. How could it be affecting you right now?