Holy Week is the religious holiday that commemorates the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And it is the week that he puts a full stop to lent (fortieth in Latin), which is the 40-day period beginning with the Ash Wednesday. Essentially, Lent and Holy Week are a time when the Catholic Church exhorts its faithful to purify to reconcile with their faith, with themselves and with others.
Holy Week has been celebrated on these dates since the year 325, which is when the Holy See celebrated the Council of Nicaea. At that time it was decided that the Easter Sunday It had to fall on the Sunday after the first full moon of spring, so Holy Week always coincides with the full moon.
This fact, far from being simply anecdotal information, could be much more transcendental than what might be thought at first, and what is more, it could even affect to the quality of our rest:
How does the full moon affect our body?
Most of health professionals They maintain that lunar cycles can affect people’s health. And it is a belief that seems to have some support. After all, lunar cycles affect the tidesto the reproductive cycles of many species or to the life cycles of floors… so why couldn’t it also affect our body?
This relationship between health and the phase in which the Moon is located that current doctors have observed, has been the subject of study for a long time: back in 400 BC, doctors and philosophers found that there was a relationship between the mental state of his patients and lunar cycles. In fact, that is -precisely- the origin of the word “lunatic”.
Far from being pure hoax, it has been proven in various studies that -indeed- the phase in which the moon is at one time or another, has a major impact in some elements of human behavior, such as sleep.
Several scientists from the University of Basel (Switzerland) published the results of a study carried out in 2018 in the journal “Current Biology”. And in that article, the researchers explained how human biorhythms adapt to the geophysical rhythms of the moon.
The data appeared to show that the brain activity of the areas related to deep sleep (REM) decreased in the last days of each lunar cycle, coinciding with the fourth visible phase of the moon, that is, the full moon. That means the study subjects took longer to fall asleep and that -in addition- they slept in a lighter way.
Specifically, the encephalographic activity decreased by 30%the time to fall asleep increased by five minutes and total sleep duration was reduced by 20 minutes. Another aspect that also caught the attention of scientists was the remarkable decreased melatonin levels in the body, which is Hormone responsible for regulating sleep cycles.
It should also be noted that, during the experiment, the researchers tried to discard other items that could cloud the results, such as the light screens; that have been shown to increase cognitive stimulation of the brain and that -therefore- artificially disturb sleepmaking it more difficult to fall asleep.