Does the Moon Affect Baby and Toddler Sleep?

Have you noticed that your baby or toddler’s sleep is significantly worse during the full moon? Or perhaps you’ve noticed that your own sleep is disrupted? Maybe you’ve found it harder to get to sleep at night, or you’ve woken more than usual? If so, you’re not alone!

Recent research from the University of Washington has found that people get less sleep during a full moon period and the immediate run up to it. Speaking about the study results, the lead researcher professor of biology Horacio de la Iglesia commented “We see a clear lunar modulation of sleep, with sleep decreasing and a later onset of sleep in the days preceding a full moon”. This isn’t the only study to have found a relationship between moon phases and sleep, with others finding that we feel more tired in the mornings after a full moon.

Why does the moon impact sleep? The obvious answer would be the increased light levels present during a waxing moon (the phase just before a full moon), when the moon is higher in the sky. Plenty of research has shown the impact of light on sleep, with brighter, short wave length light (for instance bright white energy saving bulbs and blue light) negatively impacting the secretion of melatonin (the sleep hormone). However, this doesn’t fully explain why the moon impacts sleep when we can’t even see it (behind blackout blinds for instance).

When are the full moons in 2021?

While the following are dates of the full moon, remember that the impact is likely to be felt for a few days either side, particularly the two days leading up to the full moon.

  • 28th January
  • 27th February
  • 28th March
  • 27th April
  • 26th May
  • 24th June
  • 24th July
  • 22nd August
  • 21st September
  • 20th October
  • 19th November
  • 19th December

How do you handle full moon sleep disturbances?

Much the same way as you would any other impacts on sleep, with a lot of understanding, patience and empathy. Thankfully, you’re only looking at a handful of days per month for the lunacy (see what I did there?!) to pass!

The NEWLY UPDATED Gentle Sleep Book – out now! If you would like to understand and learn how to improve your baby, toddler, or pre-schooler’s sleep WITHOUT cry-based conventional sleep training, this is the book for you!



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Published by SarahOckwell-Smith

Sarah Ockwell-Smith, Parenting author and mother to four.

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