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There's A Reason You Couldn't Sleep Last Night

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There's A Reason You Couldn't Sleep Last Night

Did anyone else have a *terrible* sleep last night?

Despite being tired from a busy weekend, we spent the whole night tossing and turning. In fact, we've been surviving on countless cups of tea and sugary snacks all day.

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But, it's *not* a coincidence that we're all bleary-eyed. In case you weren't aware, tonight we will be graced with the second supermoon of the year - the 'Worm Moon'.

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While the supermoon will reach its peak at around 5.35pm today, lighting up the sky in all its glory, it's been shining bright for the last few evenings. And if you've found your sleep disrupted over the last few days, there's a very good chance the moon is responsible.

Researchers from the University of Basel, in Switzerland, carried out a study into the effects a full moon can have on sleep.

The study was small - just 33 people - but they found on the nights around the full moon, participants took longer to fall asleep; spent less time in a deep sleep; slept for less time and spoke about having had a poor sleep.

During the study, they were unaware that researchers were investigating the impact of the moon.

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There's a super 'Worm Moon' tonight (Credit: Unsplash)
There's a super 'Worm Moon' tonight (Credit: Unsplash)

But what does this mean? Why does a full moon make us restless at night? The NHS helped debunk some of the possible reasons.

They explained that the light from the moon can make our bedrooms brighter - but confirmed that in the study, conditions in the rooms were kept the same each night (ie the light levels didn't change).

However, it's been suggested that as each participant was only assessed over a few nights - and not a full moon cycle - they could have been reacting to patterns built prior to the study.

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In the same way our body clocks have a response to the time of day, it's suggested we could have a similar response to the cycles of the moon.

Did you know the full moon can affect your sleep? (Credit: PA)
Did you know the full moon can affect your sleep? (Credit: PA)

But, there is another explanation for our lack of shut eye. To help us understand how the moon could have impacted out sleep, Tyla spoke to The Sleep Geek James Wilson.

We asked James why we struggled to switch off last night and whether the full moon could be responsible. According to James, our lack of sleep during this time of the month can be a survival technique.

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Channeling our inner caveman, thousands of years ago moonlight would have made us more noticeable to threats and predators, meaning as a survival technique we sleep lighter and remain more awake than we normally would.

It looks like we might be in for some poor sleep this week (Credit: Unsplash)
It looks like we might be in for some poor sleep this week (Credit: Unsplash)

James explained: "Most of my work is with organisations and sports teams and therefore I talk to hundreds, if not thousands of poor sleepers a month.

"Sleeping worse when there is a full moon comes up a lot and I would say from the conversations I have, that yes our sleep is impacted by the full moon.

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"My theory as to why we sleep worse at this time is that when we had predators, a full moon would make us more vulnerable to being attacked and eaten.

"Therefore our bodies are designed to sleep more fitfully and the quality and quantity of our sleep will be worse."

Looks like we could be in for another poor sleep tonight... coffee at the ready!

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: Life News, Astrology, Sleep

Lucy Devine
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