This week on The Whole View, we circle back to an older topic in order to review the updated science exploring whether the moon affects us humans. We discuss the latest studies investigating how the moon may influence our behavioral and biological functions such as sleep, menstrual cycles, and mental illness. If you have been here for a while, you know that Stacy and I have very differing viewpoints on this topic, and this podcast is no different!
While Stacy may have been hoping (again) for a causal link, I dive into some interesting considerations with statistics as a whole and how they are often not intuitive, and require certain techniques to validate that any research outcomes have not simply happened by chance. Tune in to the podcast to learn about the interesting probability case study “The Birthday Problem” and the statistical anomalies it reveals.
Throughout this entertaining dialogue between Stacy and I, we ultimately agree that it comes down to this: science has not provided any convincing proof of a causal link between our human functions with the gravitational effects of the moon cycles.
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Recommended Reading and Listening
TPV Episode 299: Does the Moon Affect Stacy’s Mood?
TWV Episode 423: The Scientific Method
Casiraghi L, Spiousas I, Dunster GP, McGlothlen K, Fernández-Duque E, Valeggia C, de la Iglesia HO. Moonstruck sleep: Synchronization of human sleep with the moon cycle under field conditions. Sci Adv. 2021 Jan 27;7(5):eabe0465. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abe0465. PMID: 33571126; PMCID: PMC7840136.
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Gómez C. P., La luna y la feminidad entre los tobas del oeste formoseño (Gran Chaco, Argentina). Campos. 11, 47–64 (2010).
Helfrich-Förster C., Monecke S., Spiousas I., Hovestadt T., Mitesser O., Wehr T. A., Women temporarily synchronize their menstrual cycles with the luminance and gravimetric cycles of the Moon. Sci. Adv. 7, eabe1358 (2021).
Cajochen C, Altanay-Ekici S, Münch M, Frey S, Knoblauch V, Wirz-Justice A. Evidence that the lunar cycle influences human sleep. Curr Biol. 2013 Aug 5;23(15):1485-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.06.029. Epub 2013 Jul 25. PMID: 23891110.
Smith M, Croy I, Persson Waye K. Human sleep and cortical reactivity are influenced by lunar phase. Curr Biol. 2014 Jun 16;24(12):R551-R552. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.05.018. PMID: 24937276.
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Sjödin A, Hjorth MF, Damsgaard CT, Ritz C, Astrup A, Michaelsen KF. Physical activity, sleep duration and metabolic health in children fluctuate with the lunar cycle: science behind the myth. Clin Obes. 2015 Apr;5(2):60-6. doi: 10.1111/cob.12092. Epub 2015 Mar 23. Erratum in: Clin Obes. 2015 Oct;5(5):291. PMID: 25808903; PMCID: PMC4672692.
Chaput JP, Weippert M, LeBlanc AG, Hjorth MF, Michaelsen KF, Katzmarzyk PT, Tremblay MS, Barreira TV, Broyles ST, Fogelholm M, Hu G, Kuriyan R, Kurpad A, Lambert EV, Maher C, Maia J, Matsudo V, Olds T, Onywera V, Sarmiento OL, Standage M, Tudor-Locke C, Zhao P, Sjödin AM. Are Children Like Werewolves? Full Moon and Its Association with Sleep and Activity Behaviors in an International Sample of Children. Front Pediatr. 2016 Mar 24;4:24. doi: 10.3389/fped.2016.00024. PMID: 27047907; PMCID: PMC4805596.
Helfrich-Förster C, Monecke S, Spiousas I, Hovestadt T, Mitesser O, Wehr TA. Women temporarily synchronize their menstrual cycles with the luminance and gravimetric cycles of the Moon. Sci Adv. 2021 Jan 27;7(5):eabe1358. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abe1358. PMID: 33571128; PMCID: PMC7840133.
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How many women are affected by menstrual irregularities?
Komada Y, Sato M, Ikeda Y, Kami A, Masuda C, Shibata S. The Relationship between the Lunar Phase, Menstrual Cycle Onset and Subjective Sleep Quality among Women of Reproductive Age. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Mar 21;18(6):3245. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18063245. PMID: 33801068; PMCID: PMC8003924.
Pochobradsky J. Independence of human menstruation on lunar phases and days of the week. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1974 Apr 15;118(8):1136-8. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(74)90695-4. PMID: 4817651.
Cutler WB. Lunar and menstrual phase locking. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1980 Aug 1;137(7):834-9. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(80)90895-9. PMID: 7405975.
Cutler WB, Schleidt WM, Friedmann E, Preti G, Stine R. Lunar influences on the reproductive cycle in women. Hum Biol. 1987 Dec;59(6):959-72. PMID: 3443446.
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Ilias I, Spanoudi F, Koukkou E, Adamopoulos DA, Nikopoulou SC. Do lunar phases influence menstruation? A year-long retrospective study. Endocr Regul. 2013 Jul;47(3):121-2. doi: 10.4149/endo_2013_03_121. PMID: 23889481.
Bull JR, Rowland SP, Scherwitzl EB, Scherwitzl R, Danielsson KG, Harper J. Real-world menstrual cycle characteristics of more than 600,000 menstrual cycles. NPJ Digit Med. 2019 Aug 27;2:83. doi: 10.1038/s41746-019-0152-7. PMID: 31482137; PMCID: PMC6710244.
Wehr TA, Helfrich-Förster C. Longitudinal observations call into question the scientific consensus that humans are unaffected by lunar cycles. Bioessays. 2021 Jul;43(7):e2100054. doi: 10.1002/bies.202100054. Epub 2021 May 24. Erratum in: Bioessays. 2021 Aug;43(8):e2170083. PMID: 34028873.
This 2017 study looked at bipolar mood cycles and lunar tidal cycles.
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The Gut Health Cookbook is fantastic! Thank you for researching and creating The Gut Health Cookbook! Such wonderful recipes! I’m so excited to try them all!
Wehr TA. Bipolar mood cycles and lunar tidal cycles. Mol Psychiatry. 2018 Apr;23(4):923-931. doi: 10.1038/mp.2016.263. Epub 2017 Jan 24. PMID: 28115741; PMCID: PMC5524624.
Fisahn J, Barlow P, Dorda G. A proposal to explain how the circatidal rhythm of the Arabidopsis thaliana root elongation rate could be mediated by the lunisolar gravitational force: a quantum physical approach. Ann Bot. 2018 Nov 3;122(5):725-733. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcx143. PMID: 29236939; PMCID: PMC6215034.
Wehr TA. Bipolar mood cycles associated with lunar entrainment of a circadian rhythm. Transl Psychiatry. 2018 Aug 13;8(1):151. doi: 10.1038/s41398-018-0203-x. PMID: 30104658; PMCID: PMC6089884.
The Gut Health Collection
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I love Dr. Sarah’s passion for educating people and helping everyone on their journey to wellness!!
Avery DH, Alexander EM, Wehr TA. Synchrony Between Bipolar Mood Cycles and Lunar Tidal Cycles Ended After Initiation of Light Treatment and Treatment of Hypothyroidism. J Psychiatr Pract. 2019 Nov;25(6):475-480. doi: 10.1097/PRA.0000000000000423. PMID: 31821225.
Kahn DA. Commentary on “Synchrony Between Bipolar Mood Cycles and Lunar Tidal Cycles Ended After Initiation of Light Treatment and Treatment of Hypothyroidism”. J Psychiatr Pract. 2019 Nov;25(6):475-480. doi: 10.1097/PRA.0000000000000424. PMID: 31821226.
Andreatta G, Tessmar-Raible K. The Still Dark Side of the Moon: Molecular Mechanisms of Lunar-Controlled Rhythms and Clocks. J Mol Biol. 2020 May 29;432(12):3525-3546. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2020.03.009. Epub 2020 Mar 19. PMID: 32198116; PMCID: PMC7322537.
Raible F, Takekata H, Tessmar-Raible K. An Overview of Monthly Rhythms and Clocks. Front Neurol. 2017 May 12;8:189. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2017.00189. PMID: 28553258; PMCID: PMC5428424.
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