As regular readers of the space know well, we keep our eyes and ears open for all sorts of research into the idea of 'man,' or issues that such ideas might birth. And while there have been some very interesting themes (the one about the songbirds, for example?) today we have an utterly fascinating new study.
In a paper titled, 'Sex-specific association of the lunar cycle with sleep,' authored by Christian Benedict et al of Uppasala University, Sweden have studied how the lunar cycle impacts sleep for men.
And it turns out that when the moon is in its waxing phase, men stay awake longer and enjoy less sleep efficiency compared to women. In the waning phase there is no such difference.
Straight off the bat one must state that this probably needs more research, but that said, there are so many delightful conjectures on why it might be so. The 'hunter' thesis is most interesting. Broadly the view is that given the millennia of hunting experience coded in their genes, men possibly sense an opportunity with the increasing light for a late night hunt.
There have been smaller studies that might suggest possible pathways for this effect. One for example found lower testosterone and higher cortisol among men during the full moon. As the effect clearly seems to be on men and not on women at all, testosterone levels are likely the key way this gets manifested.
And lower levels of testosterone, and higher cortisol, both are known to lead to sleep challenges in men.
So, in case you want to see how you may have some signs of low testosterone, below is a quick and easy self-assessment. Go for it.Index Your Experience Of Ageing
Benedict C, Franklin KA, Bukhari S, Ljunggren M, Lindberg E. Sex-specific association of the lunar cycle with sleep. Sci Total Environ. 2021 Sep 9;804:150222. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150222. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34520928.