It’s been a long time since we started a conversation about sleeping in a tent. After all, it can be cumbersome to put a full-size Tempur-Pedic in your Coleman. What we have shared with you is a great deal of information about circadian rhythms and sleep hygiene to help you get higher quality, more restful sleep, and more of it. For those whose circadian clocks are out whack, new sleep research has revealed a sure-fire cure – and a fast-acting one at that.
To fix your inner clock, go camping.
In a rather dense and data-driven scholarly article, researchers have revealed the outcomes of an experiment which proves the detrimental impact of modern conveniences on our sleep patterns. Research participants split into two groups, and some were sent camping in the Rocky Mountains, while others stayed home in their modern house with artificial lighting. Those who rose and rested to the rhythm of the sun were back in sync after just a few days. Those who stayed home went to bed later than the camping group – an average of two hours later on weekend nights.
Sleep and the Sun
There are a few factors at play here. The people camping out in the woods didn’t just manage their days according to dusk and dawn. They did, but they also gave up their backlit devices for the duration of the trip. They were also exposed to a whole lot more sunlight during the day than the at-home group. The increase in natural light during the day combined with the decrease in artificial light at night created a significant shift. Each of these tweaks can make an impact on its own, whether you’re camping or not.
Camping isn’t the only option.
For camping enthusiasts, this research is just another excuse to spend time in the great outdoors. For others, it might inspire a “thanks, but no thanks.” If sleeping under the stars sounds like an uncomfortable, bug-infested nightmare to you, you can still enjoy the benefits of these scientific insights. They just reinforce the effectiveness of basic sleep hygiene. Get plenty of Vitamin-D-rich sunlight during the day, even in winter, by taking a walk or using a therapy light. Limit your screen time after the sun goes down, especially when you’re in bed. And try to keep a consistent sleep schedule so that your sleep pattern resembles a rhythm.
It’s all in the environment.
Next time you have trouble falling or staying asleep, be sure to consider the environment where you’re trying to doze off. If there’s artificial light, you might want to invest in some blackout curtains. Noise pollution can be neutralized by a white-noise machine. Aromatherapy using essential oils has a dual purpose, eliminating unpleasant fragrances while also having a relaxing effect on the body.
Perfect your sleeping surface.
If you already have an amazing mattress, it’s understandable that you might not want to spend your nights lying on the ground or an inflatable pad. If not, your bed itself is likely the most important environmental factor to get right. Sleeping in your bed should never make you feel like you’re sleeping on sticks, stones, or tree roots. If camping out feels no different from your in-home sleeping surface, it’s time for an upgrade. The sleep experts at A Goodnight Sleepstore will help you choose the right mattress and take all the right steps to get a great night’s sleep – indoors or out.