Camping can fix troubles with sleep claims the results of a new study. Scientists monitored sleep patterns of people in the city houses and the ones in nature without artificial light. The results showed how much our inner clock is disturbed in the urban environment, but also the influence of natural surrounding on our circadian rhythm.

Filling the day with natural light and the night can have a profound impact on our circadian rhythm

Circadian Rhythm Disorder

Circadian rhythm, also known as sleep circle rhythm possesses all living beings in the world. Circadian clock allows us to know how to coordinate our biological behavior in accordance with a natural day-night circle. Thanks to this rhythm we are aware when we have to eat or to sleep. Although the rhythm is endogenous, the environment has a huge impact on rhythm, for example, the lights of great cities. That’ s where the problem begins.

The human biological clock

Modern people live in the urban environment. Constantly affected by artificial light from streets, TV, computer and phone screens and spending less and less time in the nature results with sleep disorders. The circadian rhythm becomes confused and issues with insomnia arise. Scientists thought how to fix the inner clock delay and conducted several experiments.

Camping Prevent Sleep Delay

Researchers from the University of Colorado monitored the sleep patterns of two group of people. One group sleep in the regular home in the city. The other group went on a weekend trip to the Eagles Nest Wilderness and spent two nights in nature. They were forbidden to use any light, but the campfire and Sun. They fall asleep 1.8 hours earlier than those who stayed home. Next night, they feel sleepy even earlier than the previous one – 2.6 hours earlier. This group also wake up earlier in the morning. The results of experiment clearly showed that melatonin release naturally with the darkness and the artificial light cause its disturbance.

Melatonin is the hormone that’s released in response to darkness at night to make us feel sleepy. In the urban area, the night darkness is affected by the light which causes the delay of melatonin release

Lead author and physiology professor Kenneth Wright said: “These studies suggest that our internal clock responds strongly and quite rapidly to the natural light-dark cycle. Living in our modern environments can significantly delay our circadian timing and late circadian timing is associated with many health consequences. But as little as a weekend camping trip can reset it.”

If we ever have an excuse to run away from chaos in our urban daily life, it is time to add one more – camping! Besides wonderfully spent time with friends and family in nature, we can reset our inner clock at least for a weekend. Our body and mind deserve it.