Children may sleep less when there is a full moon, but only by a few minutes, according to a new study.
The study looked at 5,812 children across five continents from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, sexes, sleeping patterns and levels of physical activity.
Children were chosen because the scientists said they were ‘more amenable’ to behaviour changes due to lack of sleep than adults.
The study lasted 28 months, which is equivalent to 28 lunar cycles.
Each lunar cycle was split up into three phases; full moon, half-moon and new moon.
The findings showed that sleep time around a full moon was five minutes less than a new moon, a one per cent difference, which the researchers said was not significant enough to matter.
No other moods or activities saw a substantial change.
Lead scientists Dr Jean-Philippe Chaput, from the Eastern Ontario Research Institute, said the five minute difference in sleep time did not constitute a ‘considerable threat to health’ and should be discounted.
He said: ‘Our study provides compelling evidence that the moon does not seem to influence people’s behaviour.
‘Overall, I think we should not be worried about the full moon.
‘Our behaviours are largely influenced by many other factors like genes, education, income and psychosocial aspects rather than by gravitational forces’.
According to mythology a full moon can turn people into werewolves and ancient Chinese people believed it was linked to fertility.
Astrologers believe that the moon governs your past and your emotional development.
Dr Chaput said: ‘Folklore and even certain instances of occupational lore suggest that mental health issues or behaviours of humans and animals are affected by lunar phases.
‘Whether there is science behind the myth or not, the moon mystery will continue to fascinate civilizations in the years to come’.