Thursday, November 10, 2011

Effects of the Full Moon

Back to my blog home page:

I hop out of the Forester, happy that it's the eve before Friday. I open the gate of the white picket fence to head to my little cottage. Gazing up into the dark sky (dark at such an earlier hour since the time change), I stop to relish the full moon shining brightly through a few wispy clouds.

My senses shift from visual to auditory. I suddenly realize that every dog in the neighborhood is howling at the moon! Seriously... It must be every dog in the neighborhood!

I instantly knew what tonight's blog entry would be....

the effects of the full moon.

A great website called Neuroscience for Kids says:
  • A full moon happens every 29.53 days.
  • Sometimes there are two full moons in one month. It IS possible to have a month without a full moon, but this does not happen very often and it can happen only in the month of February.
  • You will have to wait until February 2018 for the next month without a full moon. 
(Hey, if you're really interested in the phases of the moon, check out

I went online convinced I would find interesting correlations between the full moon and crazy behavior.  It was a stretch to find valid research results confirming a connection between the full moon and outrageous behavior in humans and animals.  I found only a few research results that supported my beliefs.

Would you guess that Assaults and crimes (J. Psychology, vol. 93:81-83, 1976) occur more often around the full moon?

So do animal bites, according to one study....

...and nursing home residents? Alan Beck of Purdue University conducted a study that found that wandering, anxiety, physical aggression, and verbal confrontation in Alzheimer's patients significantly increased and lasted longer during periods of the full moon.

I would definitely say that there has been an increase in yelling, calling out (there's a difference!), crying, and unexpected emotional distress among the dementia patients in my building this entire week. The alarms on the exit doors have rung much more frequently as our wanderers seek freedom outside.

Am I glad it's almost the end of the work week during a full moon?

You bet!

A wealth of studies may not exist to support what healthcare practitioners observe and experience around the clock, throughout  days, months and years of providing care for dementia patients. doesn't mean these influences don't exist...
Enjoy the beautiful full moon tonight, everyone!

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