Found this great widget that will always show the current phase of the moon:
Several of the studies done have be debunked or refuted due to statistical errors and such. I have included links to several studies. However, one completed just this month at the University of Basel shows conclusive evidence on the impact of moon cycles on human sleep patterns:
Around the time of the full moon:
– Brain activity related to deep sleep dropped by 30 per cent
– Subjects took five minutes longer than normal to fall asleep
– They slept for 20 minutes less overall
– Study participants felt their sleep was poorer and showed diminished levels of melatonin, a hormone known to regulate sleep and wake cycles
Aside from this brand new study, most of my other research shows that there are as many studies debunking the effect of the lunar cycles on human behavior and physiology as there are studies proving the effects.
Another interesting abstract does show that there appears to be a correlation between moon phase and stock returns.
The findings indicate that stock returns are lower on the days around a full moon than on the days around a new moon.
The data show that the lunar effect is not explained away by announcements of macroeconomic indicators, nor is it driven by major global shocks. Moreover, the lunar effect is independent of other calendar-related anomalies such as the January effect, the day-of-week effect, the calendar month effect, and the holiday effect (including lunar holidays).
And then there’s this report from the Journal of Private Equity:
We find strong lunar cycle effects in stock returns. Specifically, returns in the 15 days around new moon dates are about double the returns in the 15 days around full moon dates. This pattern of returns is pervasive; we find it for all major U.S. stock indexes over the last 100 years and for nearly all major stock indexes of 24 other countries over the last 30 years. Taken as a whole, this evidence is consistent with popular beliefs that lunar cycles affect human behavior.
Following is one of the studies that has apparently been debunked by the Skeptic’s Dictionary, but at the time, they stated that there was definitely a correlation in crime activity.
As revealed by correlations of police and fire department data with data from the lunar ephemeris san francisco suicides and florida homicides appear to be directly correlated with the appearance of the full moon. Evidence points to a ‘circa-monthly biological rhythm’ of human aggression that corresponds with the lunar-synodic cycle. By properly applying knowledge of the lunar effect, police and medical personnel can prepare for fluctuations in the rates of crime and psychiatric admissions. References and a lunar ephemeris are provided.
I happen to believe that we as humans are affected by the cycles of the moon… I think there’s a rhythm to all life and that we are all impacted by the rhythms and cycles of the Universe. It doesn’t matter much to me whether science proves it. But it sure is interesting to see what scientists have found out about these “myths.”
The sun also has a major impact, but due to it’s distance from earth, the moon is the stronger of the two influencers on tides. The interaction of the Sun and Moon and the changing angles create changes in the tidal bulges.
According to the NOAA article, where much of this information is taken from, the rhythm of the tides change throughout the year due to the changing position of the earth in relation to the sun.
When the Sun and Moon are in alignment (at the Full and New Moons) the solar tide has an additive effect on the lunar tide, creating extra-high tides and very low tides, (called Spring Tides) then a week later, when the Sun and Moon are at right angles (known as “squares” in astrology) the solar tide partially cancels out the lunar tides, which moderates everything (known as Neap Tides). During each month, there are two sets of Spring Tides (astrological “opposition” and “conjunction”, Full and New Moon respectively) and two sets of Neap Tides (astrological “squares” corresponding to First Quarter and Last Quarter Moons).
Then, there’s also the moon’s elliptical path around the Earth, which creates a changing distance between them.
Once a month, when the moon is closest to the Earth (at perigee) the tide forces are higher, then two weeks later, when the moon is farthest from the Earth (at apogee), the lunar tide forces are less and the tidal forces are less than average.
There is a lot more science involved in understanding the forces of the tides and the moon, but I think this gives a good overview of how the whole thing works…