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Many theories about the moon affecting the human body have developed over time. Can a full moon make people act a certain way -- oddly, aggressively, or otherwise? Do the gravitational pulls of the moon and the sun that move the tides also combine to affect the behavior of people as well? Let's explore some common myths and theories regarding the moon to find out the truth!
1. Epilepsy and the Full Moon
Some people who have epileptic seizures report that the presence of a full moon triggers their seizures, supporting the ancient belief of increased seizures during full-moon days. However, according to numerous studies -- including one in the journal, Epilepsy & Behavior -- found no significant correlation between the two.
2. Pet Behavior and the Full Moon
Pet owners have noticed that they need to take their pets in for emergency care more often during full moons, and a study by the Colorado State University Veterinary Medical Center backs this up. For those days leading up to a full moon, as well as afterwards, the study showed a spike in emergency room visits for both cats and dogs. People brought their dogs in for care 28 percent more while the rate of care received by cats increased 23 percent. No speculation was given as to the cause. Could it be that the extra light encourages pets (and their owners) to be more active outdoors on nights with full moons than they might be on other nights? That's a possible explanation, but there's no concrete evidence to verify it.
3. Emergency Room Visits and the Moon
While medical personnel might note that they see more patients during the period of the full moon, research hasn't backed this up. When nearly 151,000 emergency room visit records were studied, researchers found no uptick in their number when it came to the full moon, according to a summary that appeared in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. On a similar note, there was also no evidence to back up claims that the risks of surgery increased during the full moon. Cast your worries aside!
4. Lunacy and the Full Moon
While there has been a supposed link between the full moon and abnormal behavior throughout history, modern research doesn't seem to support this connection. Does a full moon trigger manic episodes in people or create psychological distress? During a comprehensive analysis of 37 different studies, researchers concluded that only one percent of behaviors that could fall under the "lunacy" umbrella could be attributed to the full moon as reported in the Psychological Bulletin. Not a very consequential number, right?
One thing that hasn't been fully proven or debunked is the theory that some of the above behaviors might have occurred because of sleep deprivation caused by the brightness of the full moon. There are conflicting results from a few small studies but nothing conclusive. Present-day conveniences like easily controlled electric lighting and blinds seem to make sleep deprivation from the light of a full moon rather unlikely in modern times, but additional research is needed to fully confirm or debunk that theory.
We may not know for certain if all moon legends are scientifically true or false, but we do know that the moon's gravitational pull is undoubtedly strong, as we see with the world's ocean tides. It's no wonder people think the moon might influence our minds and bodies.
Do you have an unusual story associated with the full moon? Share it with us on Facebook or Twitter: we'd love to hear it! And if you happen to say, stumble over a shrub while walking the dog, MedPost Urgent Care offers extended hours to help take care of those scrapes, sprains, and other unexpected urgent care needs throughout the weekend.