A recent study suggests that the lunar cycle has an impact on men’s testosterone, melatonin, and cortisol levels.

Check out our series of articles on testosterone for more information on the “male” hormone.

The Lunar Cycle Affects Male Testosterone and Cortisol Levels

lunar cycle

The recent study conducted by Tunisian and Qatari researchers found that testosterone and melatonin levels in the blood of subjects were lower during a full moon, while cortisol levels were elevated.

The researchers also believe that solar radiation reflected by a full moon can alter brain and hormonal activity in men.

We have written at length about the effects of testosterone on the male body from regulating mental health to a wide range of physical outcomes.

‘Our study confirms for the first time that the lunar cycle affects the hormonal and haematological profile of humans,’ said Ismail Dergaa — the study’s co-author

However, it was suggested that further study was required to determine whether the moon’s gravitational pull could have “tidal” effects on the body, according to the Daily Mail.

This would mean that men’s sleep quality during a full moon would be marginally impaired while their alertness or stress would be elevated.

The findings would also indicate that women weren’t alone in experiencing circalunar rhythms in their bodies.

Other Lunar Cycle Studies

lunar cycle wolves

In the past, other studies have shown that men might also be subject to monthly hormonal fluctuations dictated by certain forces.

These studies examined testosterone levels in the saliva of patients instead of the blood.

A 2002 study found [R]:

“In this study a circalunar rhythm of testosterone related to the menstrual cycle with a maximum peak in the periovulatory phase was confirmed in women and an analogical circalunar cycle in men was described.

“A positive correlation of the salivary testosterone levels and the performance in visual-spatial tests in women and a negative dependence in men was found. The outcomes showed a significant statistical difference between the results of the test during the high-testosterone and the low-testosterone phase in both sexes.”

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The study went onto conclude:

“The levels of testosterone between the high female and low male range seem to be associated with the best spatial ability performance in adults. A male circalunar rhythm similar to the female one is very likely. Recognizing of the infradian fluctuations in women as in men should have many various clinical implications.”

Another study from the same year found that prospective fathers were also subject to monthly changes in their testosterone levels [R].

Researchers also pointed out that gastrointestinal hemorrhaging was higher for men during a full moon [R].

A Word on Crime and Lunar Cycles

teen wolf
The lunar cycle won’t turn you into a werewolf

Older studies indicated that crime increases during a full moon, despite a drop in testosterone levels [R].

Researchers conjectured at length over potential driving forces for these monthly upticks in crime — when it is often believed that high testosterone is associated with increased aggression.

The author of ‘The Irritable Male’ Jed Diamond says: “Traditionally, we associate rage with high testosterone but we found that irritability, depression and withdrawal came with low testosterone.”

This point is underscored by the fact that after losing the 1994 Soccer World Cup Final, the average tested Italian supporter had their testosterone levels drop by 25%, according to Metro.

The lunar cycle’s effect on lowering male testosterone rates, while boosting cortisol [stress] and sleeplessness may have a significantly societal impact.

A conversation on whether lunar cycles affect human behavior

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