Blood moon reflections


Sir, – Here I am at 3am reading Frank McNally’s Irishman’s Diary (“Pale moon rising”, January 23rd).

A study conducted in Switzerland between 2000 and 2003 found that in the few days before and after a full moon, people took an average five minutes extra to fall asleep, slept 20 minutes less per night, and had 30 per cent less deep sleep.

That 24-hour gym Frank saw on his walk must do very well six days a month. – Yours, etc,



Co Louth.

Sir, – I couldn’t help but smile at the reference to the luxury of Prof Matthew Walker’s “non-negotiable eight hours of sleep”, as quoted by Frank McNally. I have spent the best part of 60 years diligently trying to “kill my sleep score”, as Prof Walker puts it, but with very little success.

Does Prof Walker realise the significance of bingeing on DVD box-sets, having grandchildren over on sleepovers, late-night sandwiches, and a mind still racing after work? – Yours, etc,


Dublin 14.

Sir, – I must commiserate with Frank McNally who had to venture out into the frost to observe the recent lunar eclipse (An Irishman’s Diary, January 23rd).

I, too, rose to go to the bathroom at 4.15am on Monday morning. When I pulled back the curtain there was the moon, or at least a small segment of it, shining directly at the window. Bathroom orientation and clear glass are very important if these events are to be observed.

Over the next hour I made a few more trips purely to see how the event was progressing. With a little imagination I think I perceived a slight orange tinge. – Yours, etc,