Feeling Shit? It’s Definitely Because Of The Moon (Probably)

There’s a big shiny reason we’re all feeling so rough this week, and it’s because of the fucking moon

Feeling Shit? It’s Definitely Because Of The Moon (Probably)

by Emmeline Saunders |
Published on

Have you been feeling like absolute shit this week? Groggy, crusty-eyed, with a low-level hangover constantly humming through your brain, even though you’ve technically been dry since Monday?

My office has been full of tired zombies, slugging back coffee like it’s liquid crack and moaning about how rough they feel. A grown man literally fell asleep on my arm on the tube and I had to do that awkward shuffle to extract my limb from his unconscious face at Earls Court. This week has been THE LONGEST WEEK IN HUMAN EXISTENCE, without a doubt.

And you know what? I reckon it’s the moon’s fault.

Yeah. That big, smug fuckface in the sky is behind all the interrupted sleep, the lethargy, the sheer cba-ness of this week.

Hear me out. My mate – a primary school teacher – says they’ve got a theory about the moon sending kids a bit crazy, and apparently, all the dinnerladies get antsy about doing playground duty on full moon days.

The link between the moon and madness is well documented throughout history. We’ve all heard that factoid about ‘lunacy’ coming from the Latin lunaticus, meaning ‘moonstruck’, right? Then there’s centuries-worth of literature about the power of the moon transforming people – usually men, tbf – into werewolves. Is it really such a big leap that the moon can make us feel… just a bit off?

According to science, there could be a correlation. The lunar effect, as it’s been dubbed, is the belief that various stages of the moon’s cycle cause behavioural changes in humans and animals. A study back in 2013 even found that we sleep on average 20 minutes less during a full moon than at any other time of the month, and take longer to pass out, too.

Dr Silvia Frey of Switzerland’s University of Basel reckons it all goes back to ancient times when we would have been more vulnerable to sabre-toothed tigers when the moon was super-bright.

‘Originally, centuries ago it would have made sense if you didn’t sleep as much during a full moon when there was a lot of light and a higher risk of being predated,’ she said.

‘In our ancient ancestors, it suggests this behaviour would have been a protective feature.’

But what about now, when we’ve replaced campfires with smartphones and caves with exceptionally overpriced inner-city rentals? Do we still have that base link to our natural environment?

Back to science for this one, and short answer: yes. ‘Our findings are the first that point to the existence of a “circalunar” clock in humans, but nobody has pinpointed it yet in the body,’ Dr Frey says.

‘We expect it works at a molecular level and in the brain, possibly in the hypothalamus, the same part that regulates the circadian rhythm – the body’s own internal clock.’

The good news? We’ll all be back to normal soon. Tomorrow night – Friday 31 July – there’s going to be a blue moon, which is when two full moons happen in the same month. We haven’t had one since August 2012, and the next one won’t be until January 2018, so it’s going to be wild.

What’s wrong with us this week?

A totally scientific study into the effects of the moon on the women at my work.

We’re way more aggy

‘I encountered WAY more people I wanted to kick down some stairs this week. Normally, I can grit my teeth and breathe deeply on the commute, but I was thinking violent thoughts about the bus driver who kept stopping at orange lights.’ – Nameless colleague who everyone’s sitting away from now.

And hangry

Oh god, the hanger. I can’t remember the last thing I put in my mouth that wasn’t made of carbs, sugar and fat. ‘I just had to take my phone off the hook, make a crisp sandwich and cry,’ admits a friend when I WhatsApped her at 10am.

We’ve got all the headaches

Horrible great big pressure-y fucks that seize the back of your head in a vice-like grip and don’t let go no matter how much Nurofen you chuck at them.

All the emotions are happening

‘I don’t know what’s going on this week, but I’m really struggling to juggle everything,’ says my desk-mate Charlotte. ‘This week I am emotional. And I never get emotional.’ It’s true. She doesn’t.

We’re falling apart at the seams

‘My boyfriend’s parents are coming to stay, but I haven’t got my shit together to wash the bedsheets. Probably just going to nip to Primark and buy some cheap ones then spray them with something nice-smelling, and hope that’ll do,’ confesses another work pal.

And our periods are shitter than usual

TMI alert, but can we just talk about the clots? What in the name of all that is good and holy has the moon done to my uterus? There’s a Satanic blood ritual happening in my pants and I don’t know how to stop it.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

Science Has Found The Secret To Being A Better Multi-Tasker. And It’s Fun.

Here’s The Concise Argument For Why Women Need To Get Into Science

Ask An Adult: Are Horoscopes Really A Load of Old B***CKS?

Follow Emmeline on Twitter @emm_saunders

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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