6 Ways A Full Moon Might Mess With Your Life

Photo: Getty Images.
The belief that the moon can affect your behavior — the“lunar effect” — is surprisingly hard to stamp out. That's partly because, after decades of research, the science is still more contradictory than you might think.

You'll be pleased to know that scientists haven't found any reason to believe there's a connection between the full moon and your menstrual cycle or mental health. Yet the answer is a little less clear when it comes to your sleep, for instance.

Of course, we’re not claiming the moon is actually changing you in mysterious and spooky ways. And no, it's definitely not causing some sort of tidal effect on the water inside of you. But there are some links out there that remain…unexplained.

Could this be some sort of supernatural influence? Nah, very unlikely. Does this mean we've got some statistical anomalies on our hands? Maybe. Are we having an excellent time thinking about it? Heck yeah.

Ahead, we walk through the research about a few of these mysterious correlations between the phases of the moon and ourselves. Here are five things you might notice are a little bit different during the full moon.
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Photographed by Bianca Valle.
1. Your Sleep
One study, published in Current Biology in 2013, found that participants tended to fall asleep about five minutes later and get about 20 minutes less total sleep on nights with a full moon. Predictably, this idea made it into a ton of headlines. And it does kind of make sense — it's tough to fall asleep when you've got a giant light shining in your window!

Unfortunately, subsequent studies have had a hard time replicating these results. It seems like, if there is a lunar effect here, it's probably too small to wreak any noticeable havoc in our lives.
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Photo: Getty Images.
2. Your ER Trip
Way back in 1983, a study published in Clinical Toxicology suggested that a Maryland poison center received significantly more calls about unintentional poisonings during the two days before and after the full moon. Other studies have linked lunar phases to hospital admission rates for aneurysms, intestinal bleeding, and heart issues.

However, as you can probably guess, plenty of other (often larger) studies haven't found the same effect. Even if it's not true, though, a recent Wall Street Journal investigation found that many hospital staff still believe there's a connection between the full moon and the absurdity of the cases they see in a night. And that expectation of wild behavior might just be enough to make us act a little extra bizarre.
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Photo: Getty Images.
3. Your Odds Of Surgery Success
Even minor surgery comes with some risks, but when major surgeries go wrong, they can be life-threatening. However, according to a recent study of surgical outcomes at a Rhode Island hospital, your chances of success are better under a full moon.

But — are you tired of this yet? — other research hasn't been able to show the same lunar influence.

Still, a 2014 study in the British Journal of Pain saw small effects on some patients' post-surgical sleep quality. So, if you're someone who already has sleep issues, this may be a concern. However, that study's authors conclude that "there is no reason for patients to postpone surgeries or to fear surgeries on any given date."
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Photographed by Eva K Salvi.
4. Your Pets
This is where it gets a little weirder: Although the science is decidedly mixed on the correlation between lunar phases and human medical issues, there is better evidence for an association between the moon and our pets' health.

For instance, research published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association found a correlation between the full moon and the amount of admissions to the Colorado State University Veterinary Medical Center. After analyzing nearly 12,000 cases, the researchers found a 28% increase in admissions for dogs and 23% for cats on the days before and after the full moon.

However, that doesn't mean your pup will be taking you to the ER with 'em: A 2000 study in the BMJ concluded, "Dog bites are no more frequent on full moons than at any other time of the month. Skeptics rejoice."
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Photographed by Mark Iantosca.
5. The Weather
Researchers have found a correlation between rainfall and the lunar phases. Specifically, a paper published earlier this year in Geophysical Research Letters suggested that we're more likely to have rain on days around the full moon.

Now, we're not talking torrential downpours here — the difference only amounts to an increase of 1%.

However, if you notice that your moods tend to be influenced by the weather (other research shows some may feel less happy and more angry on wetter days), that might explain any lingering association between the moon and your feelings.
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Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
6. Your Kidney Stones
A study published in a 2011 issue of the journal Urology found that pain caused by kidney stones increased during the full moon, while another study from Royal Liverpool University found that hospital admissions for "urological emergencies" went up during the full moon.

That said, don't curse the moon for any kidney problems you run into. The authors of the 2011 study noted that their findings shouldn't be taken as the full truth, but rather as an indication that more research needs to be done in this area.
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