Children may sleep less when there is a full moon, but only by a few minutes, according to a new study conducted on kids from 12 countries, including India.
However, the study failed to find a link between the occurrence of the full moon and kids’ activity levels, debunking the myth that children are more hyper during a full moon.
Researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Canada analysed information from over 5,800 children, ages 9 to 11, from 12 countries – India, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, Kenya, Portugal, South Africa, the UK and the US.
The children wore accelerometers – devices similar to fitness trackers that record body movement and can be used to monitor sleep – 24 hours a day, for at least seven days.
Results showed that children’s activity levels – including the amount of time they spent doing high- and low-intensity activity, and their sedentary time – were about the same during a full moon and new moon.
However, children’s sleep time was about 5 minutes shorter on nights with a full moon, compared to nights with a new moon, ‘Live Science’ reported.
This is about 1 per cent of children’s total sleep time, researchers said.
One possible reason could be that the brightness of the full moon interferes with children’s sleep, they said.
The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Pediatrics.