A full moon may disrupt a full night's sleep

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Posted: Friday, July 26, 2013 3:36 pm | Updated: 5:44 pm, Fri Jul 26, 2013.

SARASOTA - When the moon is full, do you toss and turn? New research finds you may not be alone because scientists believe that a full moon can disturb a good night's sleep.

"This study really suggests that it's true," said Dean Sutherland M.D., Ph, D. of Negroski, Sutherland & Hanes Neurology. "Doctors and policemen, even newspaper reporters have always held that there's something funny about the full moon where people have abnormal behavior. I think that sleep is also one of those."

If you think there's a connection between your sleep and the man in the moon you may want to seek the help of a certified sleep specialist.

"These are doctors that have special training for an extended period and can evaluate you in a sleep lab," he said.  "They can actually look at your cycles of sleep and this is how this study was done."

The study, conducted in Switzerland finds that people who entered the lab during a full moon slept, on average, 20-minutes less than people who came in during the new moon phase.

"I think that we just have to respect the gravitational power of the moon, if it can move the tides, it can alter our brain and our body chemistry," said George Rozelle, Ph, D. of MindSpa in Sarasota.

The study also finds that the light of the moon may not be the direct cause of disruptive sleep patterns. These tips may help compensate and balance out your ZZZ's on full moon nights.

"Have as dark of a room as possible," said Rozelle, "The little lights on our various electronic devices are bad, particularly blue light so we try to cover those up and minimize those."

He suggests putting your sleep cycle on a schedule by going to sleep and waking at the same time, and if you know a full moon is on the rise you may want to go to bed a little earlier because these are things we can control. But, there are some things we just cannot, and we have to deal with.

"To some extent we have to deal with the moon," He said, "We can't change the moon."

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