We've all heard about the alleged effects of the full moon. Whether it's our moods, our sleep, our hormones or our emotions... beliefs are hard-wired! But what about reality? What influence does the full Moon really have on our bodies and our moods? We tell you all about it!
Definition: What is a full moon?
The full Moon is a fascinating astrological phenomenon that occurs when the Moon is aligned with the Earth and the Sun. In other words, it s's the moment when the visible face of the Moon is fully illuminated by the Sun's rays of light.
This phase is therefore the exact opposite of the new Moon (a lunar phase during which the star is invisible from Earth).
Full Moons occur approximately every 29.5 days, when the Moon reaches the side of the Earth opposite the Sun. Observed by mankind for thousands of years, the full Moon has been used to track the progress of the year and define a calendar for hunting, planting and harvesting.
What are the meanings of the full moon?
Astrologically, the Full Moon is associated with a period of change, evolution and even revelation. It is regularly associated with strong emotions or awareness. Sometimes considered a time of renewal or liberation, the full Moon is an ideal phase for clearing negative energies or blockages. Writer Ariana Palmieri even calls it a "cosmic sigh"!
In fact, you may have seen full Moon rituals on Internet sites or in articles on the subject of lunology proof that beliefs die hard!
Full Moon: what are its effects?
Emotionally, the full Moon is a time when some people feel more emotional, on edge, even aggressive.
In terms of physical effects, for some people the full Moon can be associated with an increase in melatonin levels, the hormone that regulates sleep. Some people find it difficult to sleep during a full Moon, while others feel more energetic and motivated.
But it's on the hormonal level that the effects of the full Moon are most often pointed out. True or false? It's hard to say at l...
Full Moon and menstruation
Some popular (and very stubborn!) beliefs link the phase of the full Moon to a woman's menstrual cycle. To date, however, there is no solid scientific evidence to support this idea. Some women, however, can observe subtle changes in their bodies and moods during the full Moon.
It's hard to say whether these are individual factors specific to a person's life, or whether the lunar star is responsible for these variations...
Full Moon and childbirth
In the collective unconscious (and even among caregivers), the full Moon phase is often associated with the idea that there are more births during this period. Certain women who are nearing the end of their pregnancy are (again according to these beliefs) more likely to give birth during the night of the full Moon. But scientific evidence remains contradictory. A Japanese study reported an increase in the number of births to cows during the full Moon, while other studies have found no correlation, and not a hint of an increase in births during the full Moon.
Does the full moon favour childbirth?
Although lthe idea that the full moon favours the onset of lchildbirth, there is currently no tangible scientific evidence at lto indicate such an influence. It would therefore seem that the increases observed in certain studies or by certain caregivers are merely coincidental.
How many full moons does it take to give birth?
There are several ways to calculate the length of pregnancy and therefore the potential date of delivery.
It is possible to count in terms of actual weeks of pregnancy, i.e. from the date of fertilization. In this case, pregnancy lasts around 9 months.
It is also possible to count in terms of weeks of amenorrhea, i.e. from the first day of the last periods.
And finally, if we refer to the lunar calendar, these 40 weeks of absence from periods correspond to 10 lunar months, or 10 full Moons.
Full Moon and sleep
As explained above, some people find their sleep disturbed during the full Moon phase. These people have difficulty sleeping, and report insomnia two to three days before and two to three days after the full Moon.
As with childbirth, there is no conclusive scientific evidence to support this idea. Some studies have shown that the full Moon could possibly affect sleep quality and sleep cycles, but these findings remain highly controversial and would require further research!
Why does the full moon keep you awake?
The popular belief that the full moon prevents sleep seems to be alive and well! However, there is no solid scientific evidence to support this claim.
Some people may be more sensitive to changes related to the brightness of the full Moon, but generally speaking, there's no evidence that the full Moon directly affects people's sleep.
Does the full moon affect babies' sleep?
Once again (you'll think we're repeating ourselves!), there's no established scientific proof that the full Moon affects babies' sleep. Some parents may of course observe mood swings in babies and children during the full Moon phase, but again, these changes are not necessarily related to the lunar phase!
Babies' sleep cycles are truly (yes, truly!) unpredictable, and can be influenced by a multitude of factors, from diet to light, temperature and teething.
When's the next full moon?
The date of the next full Moon depends on your time zone and geographical location. You can also consult an online lunar calendar to find out the exact dates of the Moon's phases. One thing's for sure: the full Moon returns every month!
What to do on a full moon?
If you like lthe idea of rituals and connection with the stars, it might be a good idea to dedicate your full Moon evening to meditation and some form of reconnection. While some people prefer to go outside to observe and contemplate the beauty of the full Moon, others will be more tempted by a cocooning moment with a good book and a hot cup of tea.
In the end, the most important thing is to be aligned with your needs and desires, regardless of the beliefs and ideas circulating around the Full Moon and lunology in general.
Full moon FAQ
How long does a full moon last?
In reality, a full Moon only lasts for a specific moment, i.e. when the Moon is exactly 180 degrees opposite the Sun. But the full Moon phase is considered to last about 3 days, with one day before and one day after when the Moon appears almost full.
Why isn't the Moon always full?
The Moon can't be full all the time, simply because as a satellite of the Earth, it orbits the planet in just over 27 days. As a result, its phase is constantly changing. The full-moon phase occurs when the Moon is exactly 180 degrees in front of the Sun: a phase that lasts only an instant! Remember that the Moon's luminosity does not come from itself, but from the illumination of its surface by the Sun's rays. As a result, the illuminated lunar surface that can be observed from Earth varies according to the Moon's position in relation to the Sun and Earth.
How long do the effects of a full moon last?
Although many popular beliefs continue to make the headlines in astrology magazines and blogs, there is no sufficiently convincing scientific evidence to support a causal link between the full Moon and emotions, sleep or childbirth. The full Moon does, however, have an influence on ocean tides due to the gravitational force it exerts on the Earth. But these effects last only temporarily, and have no long-term consequences.