I love the moon, more realistically I am a self admitted obsessive.  And in part, although I don’t like the long drawn out nights of the Winter, this is when the moon really comes in to play and illuminates our lives, and so in this way I don’t mind the dark and gloom of December and January. I like how the moon is female, I like that she is always changing, I love her luminous beauty and I love her air of mystery.  The sun is all ‘look at me’, loud and unforgiving, it is boisterous like a bounding golden labrador.  The moon is discrete, coy, playful, she is the mistress of charm and romance.

She fascinates me because of her connection to the female cycle.  She fascinates me because she is connected to the tides. (I am not going to attempt to explain the physics behind this, but it is something along the lines of the huge salt water mass being affected by the gravitational pull of the sun and the moon.)  She fascinates me because we sleep less during the full moon,  According to Professor Cajochen of Basel Universtiy, during the full moon we take 5 minutes longer to fall asleep, have 20 minutes less sleep, and spend 30% less time in deep sleep.  And we have lower levels of the hormone, melatonin, which regulates sleep. This was discovered retrospectively, and was something the Prof was not happy to disclose because he was worried that he might be considered a lunatic (excuse the pun, it was his, not mine).

The word lunatic comes from the Latin ‘luna’ and can mean someone who goes mad with the changes of the moon.  It is also commonly associated with the old belief that if the moon shone on you while you were asleep it sent you mad.  You became the village lunatic or moonatic.  That is worse than the Prof’s pun but I couldn’t resist it.  Thank fully we have curtains, blinds or shuttters now… and make sure you close them tight tonight.

So sleep well, or not so well, my friends, and if feeling a bit groggy in the morning, you will know why…