Influence of lunar phases on suicide: the end of a myth? A population-based study

Chronobiol Int. 2005;22(6):1137-43. doi: 10.1080/07420520500398114.


The hypothesis of lunar influence on suicide remains widespread, despite the fact that little scientific evidence to substantiate it. We conducted a population-based study to assess the influence of the lunar phases on suicides according to age, sex, and chosen method. The study included all suicides in Middle Franconia between 1998 and 2003. From a population-based sample of 3351 events, the files of 3054 suicides (1949 males and 1105 females) were complete for the study variables. Data were categorized by lunar phase, sex, age, and chosen method-"violent" vs. "non-violent" acts. No significant relationship was detected between the full, absent, and moon's interphases and suicide incidence. Nevertheless, there was a weak association between the absent moon and choice of a non-violent suicide method in men aged less than the median of 40.2 yrs. There was no evidence of a relationship between suicide and lunar phase. Some explanations for this phenomenon are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Moon*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*