Sleeping In Outdoor Camps Is The Best Way To Reset Body’s Internal Clock, Scientists Say

First Posted: Feb 10, 2017 03:10 AM EST

The circadian rhythm of the body works like an alarm clock. It is an internal clock that signals the body to sleep or wake up in a particular pattern. Scientists say that the sleeping and waking up timings are determined by the levels of melatonin (sleep hormone) in the body. Increase in levels of melatonin induces sleep, while reduced levels make the body wake up on time. Naturally, these melatonin levels are in sync with the rising and setting of the Sun.

However, nowadays most people hardly get exposed to sunrays on a regular basis, which is why the internal clock has lost its sync with nature. Furthermore, constant exposure to the blue lights coming from mobile phones and laptops worsens the condition. This has led to the increasing occurrence of sleep disorders, which in turn causes other metabolic disorders like cardiac complications and diabetes.

The study results of a sleep experiment conducted by the researchers at the University of Colorado, revealed that one week of camping out in the nature and not getting exposed to artificial lights synced the circadian rhythm of the body with nature, Yahoo reported.

According to the study results explained in the research article published in Current Biology, people who stayed in the camp were sleeping two hours earlier than those who stayed back in the laboratory. This pattern was consistent for the whole week, which implied that it is related to circadian rhythm of the body.

Furthermore, after they returned from camping, their melatonin concentration was analyzed. It was found that their melatonin levels rose one and half hour earlier as compared to the timing it rose before they went on the trip. This confirmed the resetting of circadian rhythm, Men's Journal reported.

However, this did not continue for long. After the subjects started using electronic devices and went back to their normal routine, their circadian rhythm and their sleep timing shifted back to what they used to be. The researchers concluded that a week of sleeping in an outside tent site is one of the most important sleep therapies for adults, especially those who complain of sleeplessness and insomnia.

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