A new study claims that it's a lot easier to fix your insomnia issues than you thought, but it will require doing something a little unorthodox.
Against all odds, scientists say there really is one weird trick to fixing sleeping problems and insomnia: go camping. Yes, sometimes sleep problems are caused by a screwed up internal clock, and a weekend camping trip could restore that circadian rhythm by putting you in a natural setting.
The results could be amazing, not only enabling you to get to sleep easier, but making it a lot easier to wake up as well so you’re not groggy and begging for the bedsheets when you’re supposed to be up and getting things done, according to a statement from Cell Press. While scientists have long known that natural daylight can reset sleeping patterns, the research team from the University of Colorado Boulder really wanted to understand the phenomenon in greater detail.
The same research team found in another study that exposure to the standard day and night cycle with 14.5 hours of sunlight and 9.5 hoursof night makes us sleepier a lot earlier, closer to sunset. To come to their findings, the team sent nine people outdoors for a summer camping weekend, observing sleeping habits before and after the trip. They compared their results to five people who stayed home in a modern environment.
“Late circadian and sleep timing in modern society are associated with negative performance and health outcomes such as morning sleepiness and accidents, reduced work productivity and school performance, substance abuse, mood disorders, diabetes, and obesity,” says Kenneth Wright at the University of Colorado Boulder. “Our findings demonstrate that living in our modern environments contributes to late circadian timing regardless of season and that a weekend camping trip can reset our clock rapidly.”
“Our findings highlight an opportunity for architectural design to bring in more natural sunlight into the modern built environment and to work with lighting companies to incorporate tunable lighting that would be able to change across the day and night to enhance performance, health, and well-being,” he says.