Have you ever blamed the full moon for an explosive mood, a crazy night out, or even a night of particularly vivid dreams? If so, you’re not alone — people throughout history have made connections about
how the moon affects our moods and behaviors. The moon and its cyclically-changing face have always been a notable presence in the night’s sky, so it makes sense that people would use the lunar cycle as a reflection point to observe human behavior. But can the moon affect your mood in any significant way, or is that all in our heads? According to some research and spiritual experts, it's possible.
Whether or not you
believe in astrology, it’s astronomical fact that the moon has a tangible effect on plenty of significant things here on earth. For example, the moon controls the tides of the ocean, affects the life cycle and behavior of many different animals, and even influences the stability of the earth’s rotation around the sun. If the gravitational pull of the moon is powerful enough to affect the ocean and the earth’s axis, it doesn’t feel too farfetched to posit that it could have an influence on us humans, too.
The moon is also an important player in astrology, as it’s considered the planet of emotions, moods, and memories. When the moon is full, it can bring all of our emotions to the surface and amplify them, whereas new moons are more calm and reflective periods. “Human beings have a deep and ancient connection to the moon, [so] think of it like the changing tides,” intuitive energy healer and behavioral health coach
Kristen Rice of Raw & Ritual tells Bustle. "Don’t blame the moon for all your feels — thank it for bringing everything up to the surface, [as] it’s only when our feelings rise up that they can move out of us."
You may not turn into a werewolf under a full moon, but here are some weird ways the moon can affect your mood, according to experts.
1. Certain Moon Phases Can Lead To More Reckless Or Violent Behavior LaylaBird/E+/Getty Images 2. New Moons Can Make You Feel More Introspective
According to astrology,
new moons are times of natural introspection, during which we’re inclined to retreat into our emotions and reflect on our feelings. "During the new moon, the moon isn’t visible in the sky and there’s no light, which means the energy available to us is low," astrologer Kristen Fletcher tells Bustle. "People often report feeling tired during a new moon and naturally crave turning inward." If you're looking to make a fresh start, the new moon is also a great time to think about what you want in your life and set intentions to get it. That’s because new moons mark the beginning of a fresh lunar cycle, so the cosmic energy is naturally supportive of starting new things. 3. The First Half Of The Lunar Cycle Can Make You Feel More Motivated
The new moon is is the point in the lunar cycle when the moon is least visible, but it’s all about
setting goals and intentions in astrology. So as the moon grows (or waxes) in the sky during the first half of its cycle as it leads up to the full moon, you may notice that you have an increase in energy and motivation, too. "During the waxing phase [of the lunar cycle], people will intuitively start new projects, take action, and refine," Fletcher says. "The moment the moon begins increasing in size, we can feel a sense of renewal and possibility." Pay attention to your motivation and energy levels during the two-week period between a new moon and a full moon and see if it grows. 4. Waxing & Full Moons Can Lead To Crankiness From Lack Of Sleep Jasmin Merdan/Moment/Getty Images
Pre-electricity, it makes sense that the nights surrounding the full moon would be a more active period, since people would be able to enjoy more visibility at night. But according to studies, that may still be the case in modern times. A 2013 study published in
Current Biology found that sleep can be significantly affected by lunar phases. Participants in the study experienced sleep disruptions and spent less time in the deepest phase of sleep during a full moon. They also slept less and reported having the lowest quality of sleep during these times, despite being kept in a controlled environment in which they didn't know what time it was. Additional studies show that even in urbanized environments with artificial light, people tend to sleep less in days leading up to the full moon — which can obviously affect your mood. "The moon may or may not make us behave erratically, but it can affect sleep," energy healer Serena Poon tells Bustle. "And for some of us, the lack of adequate, restful sleep can definitely affect our mood and behavior." 5. Full Moons Can Make You Feel More Anxious
In astrology, the full moon (which is the midpoint of the monthly lunar cycle) marks an energetic high point during which we can bring things in our life to a climax, conclusion, or release point. The moon is at peak visibility, and it’s forming an
intense opposition aspect with the sun during this phase — which can definitely cause us to feel tension. "Because of its intensity, [the full moon] can make us feel anxious, manic, and emotional," Dr. Carrie Pitzulo, founder of Ancient Magic, Modern Living, tells Bustle. The full moon can also intensify your dreams or nightmares, which can leave you feeling more anxious. 6. A Full Moon Can Make You More Social, While New Moons Can Make You Withdraw
If you ever find yourself feeling more active and
outgoing during full moons or more low-energy and introspective during new moons, it could actually be an intuitive sense based on years of human evolution under the lunar cycle. "Full moons were [historically] times of social activity, while under the darkness of the new moon we would go inward and stay in our homes to reflect," Rice says. "Now that we're in a modern society, we don’t need the moon’s light to gather — but our innate and intuitive evolutionary system is still wired to follow the cycles of the moon." It makes sense that pre-electricity, the well-lit nights of the full moon were times of greater energy and social activity, whereas the pitch-black new moon eves were a time to seek safety and quiet.