It’s 3:57 am 2 of my 3 kids are wide awake, ready to party. They don’t usually wake up until at least 7 am. Yesterday, they were CRAZY, full of energy, and didn’t want to go to bed. On any normal day, they would have been exhausted from playing, running around, and normal daily activities. But not today! As their mom, I’m trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Did I feed them too much sugar, are they over-tired (I will never understand why children don’t sleep when they are overtired)? Then it hits me. FULL MOON!
Children get wacky during a full moon. I’m no research scientist, but 10 years of parenting, and I am here to tell you, it’s a real thing in my family. You’ve heard the myths and legends about what happens during a full moon. Werewolves and such. But did you know The Lunar Effect is a real thing? Yep. The Lunar Theory is the idea that there is a correlation between the moon cycle and human/animal behavior.
Researchers have been looking at how the moon affects behavior for centuries. It has been concluded that because of the bright light that comes with a full moon, our bodies want to be awake instead of asleep. This desire could date back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors who woke with the sun. Makes sense to me. Don’t just take my word for it though. One study concluded that around the full moon, deep sleep decreased by 30%, time to fall asleep increased by 5 minutes, and total sleep duration was reduced by 20 minutes.
Other theorists say the pull of the moon’s gravity when it’s full causes humans to sleep less. Now, I can see how the increase in tides of the ocean could be attributed to an increased gravitational pull from outer space, but to my kids’ lack of sleep….I am not so sure.
There have been some studies showing that the full moon brings an increase in trips to the vet for animals, increased ER visits, an increase in crime (assaults and homicides), baby booms, and regulated menstrual cycles. I haven’t done enough serious research to see if these prove true, but I am intrigued. Because I definitely see changes in behavior in my home during the full moon.
So what do I do when my kids are up in the middle of the night during a full moon? Well, I used to get really frustrated and try to make them go back to sleep. But after several times, I realized that it was a losing battle and I wasn’t interested in participating anymore. Pick your battles, right parents? We all have nights when we have trouble sleeping. So instead, we get up. We watch a movie on the couch. Have a snack or a cup of milk. And then we go back to bed. Does it mess with our overall schedule? Not really. My oldest has seemed to outgrow it. Right now he and my husband are fast asleep. And I will be honest, I am kind of sad he isn’t up with us. I remember our full-moon-middle-of-the-night-shindigs fondly and it’s given me the hindsight to cherish these moments. I hope one day all of my babies will too.
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Amanda
Amanda Dixon is a mother of three young children and has her master’s degree in early childhood education. She spends her days homeschooling her kiddos, freelance writing and teaching college. Her favorite things are a good cuppa tea, chocolate chip cookies, books, and her 3 dachshunds.