Upon reading this, your first instinct might be to mock the Roman or Medieval superstitions. It’s all too easy to laugh about stories of the full moon changing or physically affecting people.
However, it would be wise to temper such derision, since we already know that the moon can physically affect humans, with the best example of this being a woman’s menstrual cycle.
The term menstruation and menses derive from both Latin and Greek words that mean moon (mene) and month (menses).
Although there are a variety of evolutionary theories conjecturing why the human menstrual cycle length evolved to the same as that of the lunar cycle. A 1986 study confirmed, “A synchronous relationship between the menstrual cycle and lunar rhythm (1).”
Further, scientists have known for decades that our Circadian System, the body’s internal clock and sleep system, has naturally during the span of centuries, synched to the earth’s astronomical cycles.
One of the circadian system’s main functions is the timed release of various hormones, especially melatonin, which are tied into the body’s adaptation to this ceaseless transition of day to night and night to day (2).
Because of this, it should be no surprise to find out that sleep researchers believe that the full moon can also affect your sleep cycle, lending some credibility to the ancient tales of moon-crazed people.