Astrology is based on the principle: As above, so below. In other words what’s going on in the cosmos affects people here on earth.
A full moon occurs when the moon is 180 degrees across from the sun. In astrology we would say they are in opposition. The moon represents feelings and emotions and the sun represents vitality. In the full moon opposition they are in dynamic tension. Perhaps some people feel the pull of the sun to move more than they feel the pull of the moon to rest which could account for restless sleep? And, perhaps lack of rest could account for some of the anecdotal evidence of the lunar effect: increased admissions to hospitals, especially psychiatric wards, crime rates, etc.
We all know the moon affects the tides here on earth and our bodies are mostly water. So it might also make some intuitive sense that the moon affects women’s monthly cycles, conception or child birth.
I was doing some research on the web looking for scientific evidence, rather than anecdotal evidence. Turns out the vast majority of scientific studies don’t support the lunar effect. Some studies support the lunar effect but were discredited, a small number support the lunar effect and some studies were contradictory. I did come across the following study having to do with sleep patterns.
The following was taken in part from a recent article by Edward Snow on the web site of Astrology News Service. You will find the link to ANS at the bottom of this blog.
Professor Christian Cajochen, a psychiatrist who studies circadian rhythms at the University of Basel in Switzerland, was having cocktails with colleagues at a local pub. The full moon had risen and was flooding their table with light.
When the conversation turned to shop talk some of the professor’s colleagues complained they slept less well when the moon was full. After years of studying sleep patterns, Prof. Cajochen realized he had enough data to check out these claims and made a decision to do so the next day.
It was the researcher’s intention to prove his friends wrong by disproving their hypothesis: sleep patterns are influenced by the full moon. “To my surprise I couldn‘t,” he reportedly said.
Most scientists believe they have the physical universe pretty well figured out and moon beams don’t figure in their calculations.
For his test, Prof. Cajochen used data collected 10 years earlier for another study. Thirty-three participants between the ages of 12 and 75 were grouped based on whether the moon was new or full when they entered the laboratory for extended testing.
Results of the test are described in the journal Current Biology. The researchers found that those who came into the sleep laboratory during a full moon took five minutes longer to fall asleep and had 20 minutes less sleep on average. Even more significantly, test subjects spent 30 percent less time in restful deep sleep than those who entered the lab under a different lunar phase.
By being retrospective, critics will find it hard to claim any experimental or selection bias of subjects or data. A simple mechanism such as increased moonlight can also be ruled out as the subjects slept in a dark room in the sleep laboratory. Neither the 33 volunteers nor the scientists conducting the tests were aware of the lunar phase at any time.
Here is one solid study clearly showing the correlation between moon phase and restful sleep. And, Prof. Cajochen set out to prove the opposite with data collected for an entirely different reason 10 years before he analyzed the data for this purpose. It took him 4 years to publish his findings because he worried what his peers in the scientific community would think of him.
In 2012 Rupert Sheldrake wrote a book entitled Science Set Free. In his book he shows the ways in which science is being held back by assumptions that have, over the years, hardened into dogmas. Such dogmas are not only limiting, but dangerous for the future of humanity. You can see a YouTube video of Sheldrake discussing his book here.
I wonder what lunar effect studies would actually show if scientists were set free to truly discover our world?