Having trouble sleeping at night? Then you should definitely give camping a try. A new study from the University of Colorado revealed that outdoor activities, such as camping, can do wonders for our sleep, especially during winter. This study also shows that camping can help level off the circadian rhythm, making us feel more rested and can potentially promote a better mental health.
Dr. Kenneth Wright of the University of Colorado declared that our sleep cycle is inadvertently affected by overexposing to electronic devices which emit blue light such as mobile phones, tablets, computer screens, and TVs.
As a result, we are no longer capable of maintaining our ancestor’s sunup/sundown sleep cycle. Nowadays, we rely heavily on artificial light, spending less time outside in the sun. Naturally, the consequence of this action is an abnormal sleep/wake rhythm, which can ultimately put us in danger, since sleep disorders have been associated with conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and depression.
But Wright and his might have found a solution which can help us sleep better and wake up feeling more rested and energic – camping. Over the last years of research, Wright and his team have observed that people who tend to spend more time outdoors are more likely to hit the sack earlier than people staying indoors.
Punching the numbers, Wright’s team discovered that people who went on a camping trip, especially during the winter, tend to go to bed 2.5 hours earlier than they would normally do at home. However, the study also pointed out that people camping tend to wake up later than they would do if stuck at home, but Wright said that this aspect might be related to the fact that they are not brave enough to face the cold, and prefer to spend an extra hour or two lying in the sleeping sack.
Although Wright and his team declared that the study does not reveal a direct connection between sleeping disorders and camping, the findings indeed suggest that people who spend more time outside in the sun, or taking night walks tend to sleep better and have a more efficient immune system that people staying indoor with heads buried in devices that emit blue light.
However, more research is needed in order to see how outdoor conditions can affect melatonin production. For now, Wright and his team have recommended as much time spend outdoors as possible.
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