When I first read this question I wanted to simply answer with my own opinions and beliefs as I have often thought about this topic myself. I have some healthcare field experience as does my mother (she has a lot) and it certainly did seem very true that when there was a full moon – the ERs were flooded. So, this theory has interested me for some time.
In my layman’s opinion, before doing any research, I would answer this way: The moon and its changes affect the tides of the ocean – thus affecting all the water here on earth. Because our bodies are made up of mostly water, it only goes to suspect that a full moon would also affect humans too. Does that do it for ya? Nah, didn’t think it would.
Okay. So….The words lunatic and lunacy initially referred to the mad-like behavior thought to be brought on by the moon’s phases. However, upon doing my research it appears that murderers, moms-to be and surgery patients are not as affected by the moon as I once had thought. At least that is what they want us to believe (in my best Fox Mulder voice). It seems that for every study proving that the full moon does cause these events to happen more significantly during those times, there are two studies disproving it. There have been experiments that initially proved that murders increased during full moons, that post-operative patients had bleeding problems during full moons and that more women gave birth during full moons. For all of these analyses, there have been many showing the opposite results – racking the previous numbers up to basic coincidences.
It has been suggested that a person’s behavior may change around the time of a full moon due to lack of sleep caused by all that extra moon light. It is also inferred that others may simply notice things more because it is brighter out. I don’t know. I think I like my answer better. Which is true? Perhaps only the werewolves know.