QotW: Does the moon affect student behaviour?

Is there a lunar link between school students and the phases of the moon?
21 February 2022


Child students at a classroom



Sal wants to know "Is the behaviour of school students affected by moon phases?"


There are many fictional tales of werewolves; people who become feral and change their behaviour during a full moon. Bus is there any grounds of science for it? Otis Kingsman reached out to Teresa Pavia', neurologist and the clinical director of the Sleep Medicine Centre in Lisbon to find any connections between the moon and the behaviour of school students...

Teresa - Hello everybody. I am Teresa Piva, a sleep specialist from Portugal. A study in Germany in adolescents from 14 to 17 years of age displayed no lunar periodicity in objective physical activity, subjective sleep quality or time in bed.

Otis - Pretty clear cut answer. Well, Teresa thinks there's a bit more to it.

Teresa - The sweet light of the moon enabled nocturnal light to our ancestors. However, it seems to have important effects for sleep. It enables reducing each duration and its efficiency. Furthermore, indigenous communities in Argentina were compared with college students in the United States. In both groups sleep starts later and is shorter on the nights before the full moon, when moonlight is available following dusk.

Otis - That's the key part of this question, sleep. Students who don't get enough sleep often find the school experience to be more difficult. Tasks that involve planning are most impaired by tiredness. Just how important is for moon in this equation?

Teresa - A multinational study from 9 to 11 years old in 12 countries found that sleep duration differs significantly between moon phases. In fact sleep was five minutes per night, shorter during the full moon compared with the new moon. In fact, the difference is very small and the insignificance in practice is questionable.

Otis - Sleep deprivation plays a key part in a child's behaviour at school. And whether it's caused by the moon or by other outside factors, it's still something we must be aware of. Thank you to Sal for submitting this question.


Add a comment