There's a scientifically approved way to reset sleep cycles that have been disrupted by late nights, smart phones and artificial lights -- and it involves camping.
Researchers showed the age-old tradition of a weekend out in nature had a noticeable effect on hormones related to circadian rhythms, but to be effective, there had to be no torches, smartphones or any artificial lights.
The study, published in journal Current Biology sent campers into the Colarado wilderness during the winter solstice and again in summer while control groups stayed at home.
The study showed natural light exposure was increased 13 fold for campers and their internal clocks shifted.
Campers went to bed 2.5 hours earlier and their levels of the 'dark hormone' melatonin were boosted.
University of Colorado Boulder researcher Kenneth Wright said people in a habit of staying up late and sleeping in were putting themselves at risk and should look to reset their internal clocks.
Living in our modern environments contributes to late circadian timing regardless of season and that a weekend camping trip can reset our clock rapidly.Kenneth Wright
"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," Wright said.
"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."
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