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Can The Full Moon Have An Effect On Your Health?

Can The Full Moon Have An Effect On Your Health?

Whenever there’s a full Moon, we hear from many of our readers that the world goes a little off-kilter—kids act up, people are more impatient, and more. Even the word “lunatic” stems from the Latin word luna, meaning Moon, and there’s plenty of evidence to support that erratic behavior does occur in some people around the time of a full Moon. But can a full Moon also affect your physical well-being as well? We checked in with some experts on the topic.

7 Ways The Moon May Affect Your Health

Here are some interesting things researchers have found regarding the full Moon and its effects on your health.

1. Heart

Can the Moon’s cycles have an effect on your heart? Apparently so, but not in the romantic sense. A study published in the Indian Journal of Basic and Applied Medical Research found that when exercising, your heart is at its peak performance during a full and new Moon. So check the phases of the Moon before hitting the gym!

2. Brain

Much like the Moon is responsible for the ebb and flow of tides, because our brains are a significant source of water, Dutch researchers hypothesize the Moon’s gravitational pull could similarly have an effect on your brain, causing erratic behavior. Read: Do Full Moons Make People Crazy?

Other studies by British scientists reveal that a full Moon may actually decrease seizure activity in epileptics. In these cases, however, researchers suggest it may be due to the brightness of the Moon rather than its phases. When the Moon was bright, participants had fewer epileptic seizures. They attribute this to the hormone melatonin, which is naturally secreted in your brain when the Sun goes down, hence signaling it’s time to sleep. In epileptics, they surmise, the brightness of the full Moon counters this release, thus decreasing seizures.

We also hear from our Facebook fans all the time: complaints of headaches and migraines around the time of the full Moon. While no scientific correlation is made between migraines and the full Moon, full Moons can disrupt sleep (see #4) which, in turn, disrupts hormone levels, thus triggering headaches.

3. Kidneys

doctors looking at xrays

A 2011 study published in the Journal of Urology found that kidney stone pain increased significantly during a full Moon. And in another study, English researches found that generally, more patients were admitted to hospitals with urological emergencies during this time, too. Conversely, the new Moon caused a “calming effect” for people with these conditions.

Coincidence? Maybe not. One theory behind these conclusions is that the kidneys, like other organs and the human body itself, are made up of about 60 percent water, and just as lunar activity can affect our oceans, creating powerful and predictable tides, the Moon may affect the workings of these organs, causing a noticeable ebb and flow in times of calm and pain. Not all researchers agree, but there is enough evidence that additional studies are in the works.

4. Sleep

view from the window night landscape large moon

A 2013 study published in Current Biology reviewed the sleep patterns of participants over three days in which they were allowed to fall asleep at will in a controlled area that had neither clocks nor outside light. When the data was compared to the phases of the Moon, researchers determined participants not only had lower melatonin levels during bright Moon phases, but they also took 5 minutes longer to fall asleep, slept 20 minutes less in general, and had 30 percent less REM sleep. And if you’re not getting enough sleep, your health suffers. Try these tricks to get a good night’s sleep!

5. Menstrual Cycle

A woman’s average menstrual cycle is 28 days, which is quite similar to the 29+ day lunar cycle. This timing may be more than coincidence according to Chinese researchers who discovered that almost 30 percent of all the women monitored ovulated at the full Moon and menstruated during the new Moon. In some cultures, there is even a name for this phenomenon, called White Moon Cycle, which essentially mirrors the fertility of the Earth which is said to be most fertile under full moonlight.

6. Increased Birthrate

Japanese researchers discovered something interesting: there was a significant increase in the number of births when the gravitation of the Moon to the Earth was most powerful. While researchers admit they are still unclear on exactly how or why this relationship exists, they say it might help healthcare professionals and pregnant women better prepare.

Additionally, one Italian study examined more than 1,200 births over three years and found a higher number of babies born in the two days after a full Moon.

7. Increased Injuries

Since the full Moon can affect our behavior in certain ways, it should come as no surprise that we are more prone to accidents or illness during this time, according to some. One 2011 study published in World Journal of Surgery found that over 40 percent of medical personnel believe in “Full Moon Madness” among patients. It was also revealed that emergency calls for all sorts of conditions actually increases by 3 percent whenever there’s a full Moon, and then drops by 6 percent during a new Moon.

In 2008 British researchers found a link between the lunar cycle and what doctors call “medically unexplained stroke symptoms,” where patients develop complaints such as headaches, numbness and coordination issues but have nothing physically wrong with them.

What do you think—do you experience any changes in your health during the full Moon? Share your stories with us in the comments below.

When’s the next full Moon? 

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  • Louise Jake's says:

    Oh god it makes my heart go so fast I cant lay down or sit it’s so horrible 🙁

  • Emma says:

    Really glad to say that your article is very useful to me. I study astrology with Horo.co and such articles help me better understand it. Thank you for explaining in such detail how the moon cycles affect us.

  • Lisa Rainer says:

    Hi, I saw your article in The Farmers Almanac, and last night was the”Strawberry Moon” as well. So I had just explained to my son how every full moon, my head would have a strange pulling sensation. So I just thought I would comment about that. 😊 Lisa

  • pat says:

    My fingernails are always affected–they break or split or just generally fall apart and need to be cut short

  • Jerry says:

    My wife worked at an ice cream store and in the days of a full moon crazed people would consume great amounts of chocolate, never failed on full moon. Police have more arrests.

  • Laura Dziadyk says:

    I’ve worked with the public for 30+ years and have definitely experienced a difference in my customers when the moon is full. I also have a child that went through what we at the time called “episodes” and ironically when I started documenting them they consistently happened when the moon was full. So I don’t believe there’s no truth in it.

  • Lani says:

    My jaw always acts up before the full moon, usually 1-2 days before. It’s a tight jaw squeezing feeling and than annoying sensation. Always happens before full moon than goes away about 1-2 days after. This started happening since 2019.

  • Dr. Barb Tremlett says:

    I find that the day before a full moon until 2 to 3 days after a full moon I have headaches. This full moon in April has affected me more than the usual and I am having more issues focusing.

    • Lani says:

      I thought I was going crazy until I started seeing patterns of symptoms! Wow hey?!

    • Angela says:

      I’m struggling with headaches as well today, which is slated as the last Supermoon of 2020.

    • Iris Detenhoff says:

      I too tend to headaches at some Full Moons and actually use my Moontime Diary to avoid appointments on these days. This Full Moon last April was a super moon, which means it was closest to the earth and it’s gravity stronger…

  • Valerie says:

    Is it possible to wake up with pain because of the moon being out? It only happens when the moon is out . so I guess my question is what is going. On and is there a name Fort it?

  • Rosemary Ramirez says:

    I’m rosemary and I read on some of y’all stories and I been feel noxious and I lay down hoping it would go away and nothing and I been really sentimental and crying … Can it be the fool mood doing this to me I’m a Aquarius

  • MAURA O'BOYLE says:

    As a child when i would misbehave and my mum got impatient with me, my gran would always say “millie, leave her alone, its a full moon” i never thought about that til i was an adult, altho i was grateful that she told my mum to leave me alone lol – i am 82 now and have been tortured and exhilarated by the moon all my life – i don’t have to look at the sky to know when its new – i become so clever i scare myself – when its full i can count on being clumsy, tired and restless all at the same time – and thank the lord when its over and i can stop eating chocolate and wear my size 14’s again – i pray that if i’m to live another life i come back on a planet that has no moon!!!

  • D. Smith says:

    Can anyone tell me how to go about looking up what phase the moon was in when my kids were born back in the mid 1970’s to the latter 1980’s?? Is there a chart somewhere?

    Thanks for any help or information.

  • Laura says:

    Worked newborn nursery for years and we all noticed the increase in births during full moon.The going joke was the light must draw them out!
    I too notice a distinct difference in my own behavior during and several days before and after full moon.Seems to heighten all moods whether happy or irritable.When odd things occur I look at the calendar and sure enough it’s full moon time.
    Try always to catch the sight of them as the beauty is irresistible and magical.

    • Susan Higgins says:

      Hi Laura, thanks for sharing! It’s fascinating, isn’t it?

    • Jeanette E Burton says:

      Laura and all– You worked the beginning cycle of life, while I worked the ending cycle. I was charge nurse in nursing homes over the years until retirement and I can validate what you say. However people living their golden years often are still mentally OK, and usually continent, but when the moon was full the mentally stable ones would become confused and totally out of character. The continent ones most often became incontinent. I was working at a time on the 11 PM to 7AM shift and we would see lots of change. I will stop now but could go on and on with the out of character changes. Folks with dementia would worsen as well and we would have quite trying nights on a full moon!! Anyone who thinks it is all an old wives tale should walk a few miles in a nurses shoes, they would soon have a mind change!

  • Louis J Apa says:

    I do enjoy a bright, full moon as it is a confirmation of an intelligent maker! ….

  • Dee Woods says:

    I don’t know about astrology, but when I had my tonsils out, it was during a full moon and the doctors told me they couldn’t stop the bleeding. My friend mentioned the full moon may have had something to do with it. Ij would never chose a surgery then. I also remember during my periods, they were worse during a full moon. Anecdotal, but I pay attention now.

  • Erin Corbit says:

    I believe it! Yesterday, I went to my mom and dads for lunch and not even thinking about it, when I left, I went to the car, opened the door and realized that I was trying to get into my moms car! Then after work yesterday, I ALWAYS pick my girls up at the daycare, but somehow yesterday, I just drove right past it like I was just going to go home then realized I still had to pick up the girls! And I NEVER FORGET. I thought it was funny! Thought I’d share my stupid day!

    • Susan Higgins says:

      Hi Erin, Many of our readers share similar stories. It could even just be that the bright Moon kept you awake and your “absentmindedness” is due to lack of sleep. Thanks for sharing!

    • George says:

      Pretty sure that had nothing to do with the moon being full!

  • W.R. FINGER says:

    Work in Law Enforcement 20 yrs and The Full Moon and the New Moon rumors are true.
    Check logs calls at enforcements centers and hospitals and ask any emergency personal and then make up your mind.

  • AMT says:

    Not scientifically verified, but acutely noticed by my mother, a former hospice office coordinator: During full moon phases, more patients passed then at other times of each month.

  • Kaur says:

    I have been noticing from years that I’ve always loved to see the full moon. Recently I started feeling that it really effects on epilepsy seizures and that’s not unsure. Someone plz share how we can get control on seizures during full moon. I found YOGA exercises helps so much.

  • Monica says:

    Am a paramedic what I have noticed on those
    days is that I had more seizures patients and my child was complaining of headech..now she is fine.. thank you God bless …

  • Tammi Nichols says:

    Restless legs worse during the week before full moon. Work with the mentally ill population. A lot worse when moon is full. Just say in. Now you can decide. God bless.

  • Steven P. says:

    It’s interesting how people getting deceived from internet articles. There is no a single research that has passed peer review. Probably are the same people that believe in astrology and other pseudosciences. Anyone who is interesting can study same basic physics (fluid mechanics etc.)

    • The Queen B says:

      I am a girl of science and totally believe the studies regarding the bodies internal “tide”. The moon affects the earths tides and since we are predominantly water with a significant amount in our craniums (cerebral fluid etc) why wouldn’t it stand to reason that people and their body chemistry might be affected during a full moon? My MIL is the overnight charged nurse in a Psych hospital. She confirmed that the majority of her patients experience more psychological psychotic issues (with increased intakes) during the days leading up to and during the full moon.

      You really should be more open minded.

  • Shirley Smith says:

    When is the best time to have. Arpeggios Tunnel surgery?

    • Susan Higgins says:

      Hi Shirley, the best time of course is when your surgeon/doctor says. But if this elective surgery and you want to choose a date, we can provide you with some guidance.
      To figure out the best days to do specific activities, you need to take into consideration the phase of the moon as well as the zodiac sign in which it falls. To take the guess work out of some of the activities, we have it listed here on our web site. https://www.farmersalmanac.com/calendar/best-days/
      There are many different formulas to many different activities. Some do not consider the phase of the moon, just the zodiac sign. Others consider both and yet others consider only the phase of the moon.
      With any surgical operation it is best to consider dates when the moon is past the zodiac sign that rules that part of the body affected. During such times, that part of the body is more resistant to infection, and will heal more rapidly. The further removed the moon is from the sign ruling the afflicted part of the body, the better.
      The following is a brief description of the quality and rulership of the Zodiacal Signs, their nature and character, whether fruitful (productive) or barren; dry or moist; masculine or feminine; fixed, movable or flexible; earthly, airy, fiery or watery.
      CAPRICORN (December 22–31 and January 1–19). Earthly, feminine, movable, somewhat productive. Related to the knees, spleen, skin, hair, teeth, and bones. Planetary ruler is Saturn.
      AQUARIUS (January 20–February 18). Airy, masculine, fixed; inclined to be barren. Related to the calves, ankles, blood, nervous system. Planetary ruler is Uranus.
      PISCES (February 19–March 20). Watery, feminine, flexible, fruitful. Related to the feet. Planetary ruler is Neptune.
      ARIES (March 21–April 19) Fiery, masculine, movable. Tends toward dryness and barrenness. Related to the head, brain, and face. Planetary ruler is Pluto (Mars).
      TAURUS (April 20–May 20). Earthly, feminine, fixed. Is moist and productive. Related to the throat, nasal passages and neck. Planetary ruler is Venus.
      GEMINI (May 21–June 21). Airy, masculine, flexible, barren. Related to hands, arms, shoulders, collar-bone, lungs, and nervous system. Planetary ruler is Mercury.
      CANCER (June 22–July 22). Watery, feminine, movable, very fruitful. Related to the breasts, stomach, and mouth. Ruler is the moon.
      LEO (July 23–August 22). Fiery, masculine, fixed, barren. Related to the heart, sides and upper part of the back. Ruler is the Sun.
      VIRGO (August 23–September 22). Earthly, feminine, flexible, barren. Related to the intestines bowels and solar-plexus. Planetary ruler is Mercury.
      LIBRA (September 23–October 22). Airy, masculine, movable, semi-fruitful. Related to the kidneys, veins, loins, ovaries, and lower part of the back. Planetary ruler is Venus.
      SCORPIO (October 23–November 21). Watery, feminine, fixed, fruitful. Related to sex organs and bladder. Planetary ruler is Mars (Pluto).
      SAGITTARIUS (November 22–December 21). Fiery, masculine, flexible; considered barren. Related to the liver, hips, and thighs. Planetary ruler is Jupiter.
      When blood flow is a significant factor in the selection of the best date, consideration should also be given to the Phase of the Moon. To reduce the chance of hemorrhage after a surgical operation, plan to have the surgery occur within one week before or after the New Moon. Avoid one week before or one week after the Full Moon.
      Here is the calendar of when these signs are active: https://www.farmersalmanac.com/calendar/zodiac/
      Good luck!

  • Amritash says:

    I have pain in my right side from upper thigh then some times groin, occasionally knee,calves ankle etc. It is uncomfortable to walk without pain of some kind in right side. I noticed that this pain gets worse nearing the new moon and starts to get better after 7 days of the new moon. After full moon,the process reverses until the next new moon. I understand there is a medical reason for this and can be cured in yoga/ naturapathy. Can someone advise please? Is someone having something similar?

  • Melissa says:

    I have epilepsy – although I haven’t had a seizure in 20 years. I noticed that a very outdated term was used here. Epileptic. I think of it as a disorder. It’s not who I am. It doesn’t define me. The word epileptic suggests that it does. It also perpetuates all kinds of negative myths and connotations about epilepsy. Such as people with epilepsy are developmentally disabled – retarded – and it’s catching. Please change the language you are using. It’s extremely detrimental.

    • Lauralynn says:

      I never knew Epileptic is an outdated term and I’m sure the majority people don’t realize either. I also never associated epilepsy with a person being developmentally disabled and have always hated the word retarded! I have a friend who’s daughter has suffered so bad from Epilepsy requiring several surgeries in the past few years and has always referred to her as being Epileptic. Never implying any other myths or connotations. I’m sorry if you’ve encountered people in your life that made you feel like this. Society is cruel! I’m Thankful that you’ve been seizure free for 20 years. Sadly my dog suffers from seizures and it’s scary to watch. (Not that I’m comparing you to my dog) but it breaks my heart.

  • Christa Wallner says:

    I have ulcerative colitis and have begun to see a correlation between full moons and my intestinal flares. Sometimes not every month, but sometimes each month. Always pray that the full moon comes near a weekend because going to work during a flare is pure hell on earth.

    • Alyssa C says:

      Haha I am reading this now in 2020. I’m flaring up now during the full moon 😭. I always have this issue coupled with not being able to sleep.

  • Agustus says:

    Shona,when the moon is full,things DO get effected.A little of something may not hurt you,but a Hugh amount may kill you.Once fully lit,many things change.Lucky for you,time has spared you some of the occurrences thousands notice.ONE of these full moons,at some time,may just show you.You are right,traditional med.will never catch up to alternative meds.Thanks for your opinion.

  • d. ellis phelps says:

    The Restless Legs Syndrome I experience is profoundly more uncomfortable during both the new and the full moons, for days before but usually subsiding afterward. I can see myself, a werewolf, in another life, running the streets at midnight under a full moon!

  • Carrie says:

    We tend to travel most when the moon is full. I started to notice that we seemed to be driving or flying somewhere within a day or two of the full moon.

  • M L H says:

    I would like to remind people that the moon comes over every day you just din’t see it because it is only partly illuminated but it is the same moon you see when it is fully illuminated. Why would it have more power fully lit. The tides come in and go out every day all month long. A full moon has no more effect than any other.

  • Kathy Anderson says:

    Well….now that you mention it, I had a flare up of my diverticulitis starting on Sunday right before the full moon! And had to call the ER on Monday, Labor Day. I could not figure out what triggered it so was it the full moon??

  • George Paul says:

    My dad had his fatal heart attack 10/23/1980. Later I read that full moon fatal heart attacks are common. Another study read years later said not so…

  • Medhba says:

    Very informative article & comments! I’m a ♏️ (Scorpio) & my oldest son & youngest daughter are ♋️ (Cancer). I have PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder & intense anxiety (with panic attacks). My symptoms are out of control with the full moon – which I just realized (thanks so much for the article). My ♋️ son goes “on the prowl” the week before full moon; my ♋️ daughter’s ADHD & anxiety are ridiculously out of whack during the full moon. I’m going to start journaling behavior & moon cycles for myself & family! (BTW, it’s the Corn Moon now so it’s the perfect time to start.) ??

  • Goldie says:

    Pennsylvania Dutch folks know about “white night” a few days before, and sometimes on, the full moon. Sleep is hard to come by, and what sleep you can get is very restless. Also noted, more babies born around and during a full moon. Years ago doctors would not schedule elective surgeries as bleeding was more profuse in all surgeries during full moon times. Again, the pull of the moon on our 85%-water bodies!

  • Shonya says:

    Augustus, parasites/pathogens breed according to the lunar cycle. Integrative medicine recognizes this and has for a long time (traditional medicine remains ignorant). If you have severe intestinal problems that wax and wane according to the lunar cycle, you are probably carrying something. Google is your friend.

  • agustus says:

    my medical history involves 15 Intestential surgeries.leaving constant pain.I am finally seeing the distinct connection 10 days before the full moon, the pain is so much more severe, and once the moon is full, and starts to recede, pain is lightened back to chronic.
    it is so bad for the 10 days prior to the full moon, many times require trips to the hospital.
    when you see this occurrence every month for 2 years, you finally can prepare for what is to come, The Full Moon torture.?
    I still love my moons!

  • Kenneth says:

    HI yes on the day before the day of and day after a full moon i get suoer creative and come up with all this crazy philosophy and inventions (ect) and on the last full moon in may i would here bible verses in my head for like 3 days straight especially in the morning when i first wake up i can hear or like see verses in my head of Jesus and his commandments’ i sounds crazy but its true!?

  • Tiffany says:

    Not only did I give birth on the super moon, the lady and her mother were in the same unit both giving birth at the same time! My partner then past a kidney stone after the birth of our son!

  • Tricia says:

    I have noticed over the years, I am more alert/wired on full moon nights, especially if I can see them. I love to see them, as many as I can. We have many cloudy days/nights. Its a little after 8pm now, and I can see it out my window 5/8. It looks perfect.

  • Orass says:

    I am 28 years old,male,♋ cancer I did not know anything about the full moon thing until I was 27 I always get mood swings on the new and full moon, it affects my behavior I have lots more then 5 relationships and friendships because of that but I finally realized that and start to have control over my life,I still dont go out in the full moon or communicate with others and when it is full moon I usually stare at it the whole night,it’s just weird but I just can’t get my eyes out of it the whole nights when it’s full.after the full moon I feel more creative, peaceful fully connected mind and body.

  • Dawne'ne Jewett says:

    I ‘am a cancer as well and the moon and the tides effect
    my whole being…. friends call me Moon Lady my whole life !

  • brian marchant says:

    I am 56 I am positive the moon affects my behavior always within 2 days of a full moon I have erratic behavior, I have a friend that knew me just a short time and by the second full moon mentioned it to me and said I should stay home and not deal with anything or anyone during the full moon, I was acting very out of the ordinary today and decided to check the moon sure enough full I had to go back and apologize to 2 people because i had lost my patience with them, I am now going to post a schedule of when its occurring on my refrigerator and seclude myself 2 days before as thats when i seem to become loony hahahaha

  • Linda Mulinix says:

    I am a cancer, the moon is my planet. I have noticed on a full moon i am at my peak performance, think more creatively, am more outgoing and feel great. Once the moon starts to wan I go into a depression, slowly come out of it as the moon gets fuller. I have noticed this all my life!

  • Corina Stafford says:

    I have restless legs. They ALWAYS hurt more severely during a full moon. Also, I trim my hair during a full moon, and it grows rapidly.

  • evieevyev says:

    I take care of a lady for 5yrs now that has lewey body dementia and one thing I noticed was there would be times that we call the down days where she is sorta not responsive. more spacy, cant stand .walk, was more tired or sleepy .little seizurs or more intense different things could happen , I would come to work n her husband would say not a good nite or yesterday wasn’t a good day (if I was off the day before) I say well I saw the banana moon..i started keeping track 2yrs ago, when I noticed the moon while feeding my animals in the evening, and either it was starting to happen earlier while at work or when I came in the next day, every time it always happens.

  • Rebecca Jones says:

    I am 65 years old and had a terrible time with my periods from the time I was 16 until I had a hysterectomy when I was 51 (not my ovaries). I went worst of menopause in my mid-50s. But, strangely, every single month when the moon is full, sometimes a day or so before or after, my sexual desire peaks for about 4-5 days, then about 12-14 days afterwards, I have some cramps in the area of my ovaries. As I thought back about it, I realized that I have always had this almost insatiable sexual desire at the full moon. I recently discovered that I was born on a full moon. I am convinced that the moon has played a huge part in my desire; which I have never minded at all (nor my husband)! I always go outside when the moon is full and howl!!! True story.

  • Amelia says:

    I worked for years in the Labor/delivery room and it certainly seemed the birth rate increased during the full moon. A friend worked in the ER and she saw an increase in patients with some psych issues. I wish we had documented that……

  • Letha MacPherson says:

    Yes i for sure notice a big difference in sleep, i think if you have trouble sleeping to begin with that problem increases during a full Moon ! Thanks & God bless

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