Researchers suggest that a week's camping holiday could help reset your internal clock
Posted by Neill Abayon
Camping in the wilderness can do more than just give us an appreciation for nature. According to a study published in Current Biology, it can also synchronize our internal clocks to the solar day, allowing us to normalize melatonin levels.
The study comes from researchers at Colorado University-Boulder, in a state renowned for scenic camping sites. Taking advantage of their locale, the team from the Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory monitored eight participants (six men, two women aged an average of 30 years) for a week as they went about their normal activities.
The researchers then monitored the men and women during a second week as the they went camping in Colorado's Eagles Nest Wilderness without access to flashlights or electronic devices.
For the researchers to gather accurate metrics, they had the participants wear wrist monitors, which recorded the amount of light to which they were exposed, the timing of the light, and the participants' activities, including sleep.
At the end of both weeks, researchers recorded the participants' circadian clocks in their lab by measuring melatonin, a hormone that signals the beginning of our biological nighttime. More here .