A bit of lighthearted lunacy
Anyone who knows me will tell you I love a good conspiracy! One of my favourites is the effect of a full moon.
“Since ancient times, full moons have been associated with odd or insane behavior, including sleepwalking, suicide, illegal activity, fits of violence and, of course, transforming into werewolves. Indeed, the words “lunacy” and “lunatic” are in our vocabulary and are used to explain odd behavior!
For thousands of years, doctors and mental health professionals believed in a strong connection between mania and the moon. Hippocrates, considered the father of modern medicine, wrote in the fifth century BC that “one who is seized with terror, fright and madness during the night is being visited by the goddess of the moon”. Despite studies discrediting the hypothesis, some people think full moons make everyone a little loony.
Some theorists believe that because the Moon affects the tides, the effect is real on humans because we are made up mainly of water. However, it seems that the Moon only affects open bodies of water such as oceans and rivers. Closed bodies of water such as dams and lakes are unaffected. The water in our bodies is closed, so therefore it does not affect us.
Studies have been done across the globe within law enforcement agencies and there is some evidence for and against the theory. Below are some recent news reports of crime increasing during a full moon.
“Senior police officers in Brighton, UK, were planning to deploy more officers over the summer to counter trouble they believe is linked to the lunar cycle. This followed research by the Sussex Police force that concluded there was a rise in violent crime when the Moon was full.”
“Police in Ohio and Kentucky have blamed temporary rises in crime on the full Moon. In January 2008, New Zealand's Justice Minister Annette King suggested that a spate of stabbings in the country could have been caused by the lunar cycle.”
"However, a reported correlation between Moon phase and the number of homicides in Dade County was found, through later analysis, not to be supported by the data and to have been the result of inappropriate and misleading statistical procedures.” – Readers Digest
In the medical world, a study reported in the Full Moon and Hospitals article by Jess White, “The American Journal of Emergency Medicine found, when analyzing admissions over a four-year period, there were no significant increases on nights where there was a full moon. And a paper published in the Nursing Research journal also showed that there was no real relationship between moon phases, hospital admissions and birth rates.”
So I guess the jury is out but to me there are two groups of people who haven’t really been surveyed or asked what their experiences are – teachers and parents! I’m sure we would have a huge folder of examples!
So be prepared … a full moon is due!
Year 5 Leader