A Cantech Letter news report examines the results of a study that investigated the impact of the lunar cycle on a child’s sleep and behavior.

Now with a recent study on how the lunar cycle might be affecting children’s behaviour we can finally announce the more or less definite results: not likely. The comprehensive study tracked the waking and sleeping habits of 7372 children aged nine to 11 from 12 countries around the world to see if their behaviour was affected by the full moon. Using accelerators strapped to the children’s waists to monitor movement, researchers were able to collect data on sleep duration, light-intensity activity, moderately vigorous activity and total sedentary time over a seven day period. Once the results were calculated and coordinated with the various phases of the moon, it was found that only sleep duration was affected by the lunar cycle -on average, children slept five minutes less when the moon is full, representing a one per cent reduction in sleep time.

“In humans, the empirical evidence that the moon exerts an influence on behaviors is weak,” say the study’s authors, led by Jean-Philippe Chaput of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa, Ontario. “The present study was the first to examine the associations between moon phases and sleep and activity behaviors in children across five major geographic regions of the world.”

Previous research on the topic included a 2013 Swiss study that saw sleep duration in 33 adults reduced by 20 minutes due to the full moon and a 2014 study from Sweden that reported a 25 minute reduction in sleep for 47 adults.

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