If you want to improve your sleep in a natural way, you may want to check out a new study from the Current Biology journal. It shows that going camping is perfect for a healthy sleep patterns.
It is well-known that spending time in the great outdoors is good for our health. It can lower the blood pressure and the levels of stress hormones. Also, the studies showed that it can reset our biological clocks and brings us back to a natural sleep cycle.
Kenneth Wright, researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder, is the lead author of the study. He started the research on camping in 2013. Back then, he sent a group of people on a camping trip to see how their biological clocks work under the influence of natural lights and no electronic devices.
The researchers measured the levels of melatonin in the participants both before and after the trip. This hormone signals when it is time for bed and helps in the setting of the internal clock. They found that the internal clocks of the participants were delayed by two hours in their environment. Such an abnormal sleep pattern can cause further problems, like sleepiness, moodiness, and a higher risk of obesity. However, the internal clocks were reset after a week in the outdoors.
Now, Wright launched the second part of the study, that was bound to make the same measurements, only that now the participants were sent camping in winter. This time, the internal clocks were delayed by two hours and 36 minutes and had higher melatonin levels.
Then, some of the participants were sent camping only for a weekend, while others were left at home. As expected, the results were better in those who went camping. Their internal clocks shifter earlier, even only after a weekend.
Wright informs us that there are other methods to recalibrate our internal clocks. If you can’t go camping, you can get the same results by exposing yourself to morning light, reducing your exposure to artificial light from screens in the evening, or even dimming the lights in your home.
Wright revealed his secret for a healthy sleep pattern. He goes hiking in the morning. Also, he wakes up and goes to sleep at the same hour every day. It works so wonderfully, that he no longer needs an alarm clock.