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Camping Resets Body Clock, Even If a Short Trip, Study Finds

Image: Camping Resets Body Clock, Even If a Short Trip, Study Finds

A study shows even a short winter weekend camping trip can help reset the body's internal clock. (Ongap/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 03 Feb 2017 05:55 AM

A weekend of camping can reset the body’s clock and get people back into a more natural rhythm of sleeping and waking, according to a new study.

Like similar previous studies that showed summer camping trips reset the body clock to sleep when it’s dark and wake when it’s light, this study, published in Current Biology, showed camping, even if only for a weekend and in winter when there are more hours of darkness, has the same benefits as longer trips. 

The study tested the melatonin levels of campers both in their normal lives before the camping trip and during and after the trip. Participants were allowed no artificial light except for a campfire at night.

The study found even in winter, participants were exposed to 13 times more light while camping than in their normal, indoor lives with artificial light. They also went to sleep earlier and slept longer during the winter camping trip, waking up at about the same time as usual, around sunrise.

Although not everyone can or wants to go camping, researchers suggested making an effort to get more natural light by designing rooms differently, and said new “tuneable” light bulbs might better mimic the natural light from outdoors, the BBC reported. Tuneable light bulbs are brighter during the day and dimmer at night.

Getting less artificial light at night from smartphones, tablets, and the television may also help people who have trouble sleeping and waking, the study said.

"We're not saying camping is the answer here, but we can introduce more natural light to modern life," said study author Dr. Kenneth Wright from the University of Colorado Boulder said, the BBC reported. "It is something we can regulate without people having to change behaviors."

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A weekend of camping can reset the body's clock and get people back into a more natural rhythm of sleeping and waking, according to a new study.
camping, resets, body, clock
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2017-55-03
Friday, 03 Feb 2017 05:55 AM
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