Can’t sleep? Go camping! (Or just go outside.)

Looking for a natural sleep remedy? You may want to forgo herbs and supplements in favor of a good sleeping bag and tent. Immersing yourself in the great outdoors, lit by only the sun, moon and stars, may help to reset your body’s circadian rhythms, according to new research. Modern life, in which we’re exposed to little sunshine but lots of artificial light from electronic devices, can lead to sleep deprivation by disrupting the normal rhythm of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. In a study, when a group of people went on a camping excursion in the Colorado backcountry — without electronics — their circadian rhythms normalized. So bust out your outdoor gear if you’re so inclined. You don’t have to head for deep wilderness, just the nearest quiet campground. Not up for camping? You can simulate some of the effects by getting outside early and often, maximizing your exposure to natural light when you’re indoors, and minimizing light from electronics. Go for a morning walk, spend a weekend afternoon hiking. And when possible, pull up the shades to let sunlight pour in to your home and workplace.  

“Sometimes walking with a friend, I forget the world.” Grace Paley

Posted on June 29, 2017 and filed under wellness.