London - If you are struggling to nod off at night, take a look out of the window.

For the moon may be to blame for restless nights, a study suggests.

Even when research volunteers were kept in total darkness with no windows, they had up to 50 minutes’ less sleep during a full moon.

Scientists are divided as to whether a “circa-luna” rhythm – the impact of the moon on the body – exists.

PhD student Michael Smith led the analysis at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg. His findings, published in Current Biology, are based on the results of an experiment that placed 47 people in a sleep laboratory for six nights. That study focused on how they responded to noise in their sleep, but Mr Smith compared the results to the phases of the moon.

He found female volunteers slept for 25 minutes less on average close to the full moon and the men slept for 50 minutes less on average. All were more sensitive to noise on nights around the full moon. Mr Smith said more research is needed.

And you can test the theory out as the next full moon falls this Saturday. It is known as a “supermoon” because the centre of the moon and Earth are less than 361 863km apart. - Daily Mail