Have you ever noticed that your dog or cat is particularly excited one or two nights a month? Also, by consulting the calendar you can see that this sudden agitation coincides with the nights of the full moon.
If it is common to hear that human sleep is disturbed on these nights, what about our pets? As the full moon takes place in a few days, discover our article!
What is the full moon?
The moon cycle lasts 29 days and has 4 phases: the new moon, the first quarter, the full moon and the last quarter.
This cycle gave birth to the lunar calendar which is used in many fields: it can notably dictate the best days to sow or harvest a certain fruit or vegetable, to cut one’s hair to have a better regrowth, to conceive a child or even, to lose weight efficiently!
The full moon is a very important phase full of mystery. It is associated with many myths and beliefs. Among the most famous, it has the power to induce childbirth, to alter sleep, to influence our moods or to transform humans into werewolves!
We also know that the full moon influences the water by acting on the tides. Our body being made up of 65% water, it is therefore not surprising that it plays on the behavior of humans, but also on that of animals!
The link between full moon and sleep quality
In 2013, Swiss chronobiologists demonstrated that every 29 days, a period corresponding to a lunar cycle, the duration of sleep in humans is shortened by 20 minutes and the duration of sleep is longer by about 5 minutes.
Also, it appears that the quality of sleep is altered. Indeed, scientists have observed a 30% decrease in brain activity for delta waves, waves emitted during deep sleep. These figures thus translate a poor quality sleep. Finally, the level of melatonin, the sleep hormone, is particularly low.
Concerning emotions, the full moon would not have the power to play on moods, but to multiply them. Thus, a person who is angry, sad or nervous will be even more so on a full moon night. In connection with sleep, it is therefore not uncommon for the latter to be disturbed by all these emotions.
What about animals?
Many animal species have adapted their behavior to the moon, including marine animals. This concerns their reproduction, but also their sleep, via the melatonin cycle.
Also, the light of the full moon being stronger than usual, it is a very opportune time to hunt. Thus, predators are much more active and aggressive.
Veterinarians in Colorado have also seen a boom in emergency visits for dogs and cats on full moon days!
So don’t be surprised that dogs and cats are full of energy on the nights of full moons as well as the 2 days before and after!