The dream is a part key to a healthy lifestyle, like eating right or exercising and makes us feel better throughout the day. In addition, the quality of our sleep can determine the degree to which relationships affect us, what our capacity for work is or how our quality of life is. While we sleep, our brain does a great job, consolidates the learning acquired throughout the day and recovers our body.
We all have at least an idea of what the dream is, but that does not mean that we know the exact definition of this part of our life. After all, the conscious and detailed analysis of our dream is really complicated, since we rarely know that we are sleeping when we are asleep. Even if we watch other people asleep, it is impossible to know how their brain functions change during it.
The scientific community has explored in depth the changes that occur in our brain during sleep and has defined the brain channels that link it with brain waves and other physiological functions. On the other hand, scientists have been able to define a variety of factors that disrupt or modify normal sleep patterns.
A study recently published in the journal Current Biology by Christian Cajochen and his colleagues at the Center for Chronobiology at the University of Basel has shown how lunar cycles affect the sleep of humans.
The results of the study are based on an experiment carried out between 2000 and 2003. During the study, a series of volunteers were detained for several days in order to monitor their sleep patterns without their knowing the purpose of the study.
Neither the participants nor the organizers knew at the time of the study that the data would be used to examine the effect of the moon, so it was a perfect double-blind experiment.
When Dr. Cajochen and his colleagues compared data from sleep monitoring to the lunar cycle, the most interesting data emerged:
Apparently, the volunteers slept, on average, 20 minutes less in the time of Full Moon. In addition, it took 5 more minutes to get to sleep.
The delta activity of participants in the experiment (the one that measures the depth of sleep) was 30% lower than at other times in the lunar cycle.
Concentrations of melatonin, sleep-related hormone, were at lower than normal concentrations.
In general, participants reported that they had not slept as well as on other occasions coinciding with the full moon.
The results show how the lunar cycles affect the sleep patterns of humans, even when they do not know which part of the cycle the moon is in. Researchers believe that the moon has an effect on the biological clock that can affect people in the same way that affects the sunlight.
One of the theories established by scientists relates the lighter sleep patterns that occur during the full moon as a form of protection against human predators, which in ancient times lurked and were able to see more clearly when the moon is full.
Scientists are now focusing their research on how the lunar cycle can affect not only sleep, but other aspects such as cognitive development or mood.