How Camping Helps Aligning our Sleep Cycles
Sleeping, it is something we all love and there won’t be anyone in the world who would say he/she doesn’t like to sleep (except the insomniacs). Scientifically, sleeping is very important for us and scientists say the ideal sleep-wake ratio is 1:2 that means an ideal sleep is of 8 hours every day. Unfortunately, we haven’t evolved like animals (a few of them like Polar Bear sleep all winter) who can take all the rest at one go and that is why we need to sleep at regular intervals.
Apart from sleeping well, something more is important and that is sleeping at the right time. Sleeping and waking up on time has been seen not only as a good habit but it reflects a healthy lifestyle too. Although, with the urban hectic life and modern technology it has become difficult, rather impossible to maintain a sound sleep routine.
Before we try to understand how camping helps in our sleep cycles, let us understand some biology. All the living beings have a biological process that drives the 24 hours of the day which is known as the Circadian rhythm, it can be called a clock in our body. Circadian rhythm help in determining the sleeping and feeding patterns including animals.
Another aspect of biology is called the sleep-wake cycle. We all have a sleep-wake cycle and this cycle is controlled by ‘melatonin’ a hormone secreted by one of the glands in our brain called the pineal gland eventually influencing the Circadian rhythm. Melatonin puts us to sleep when it secreted more in the night time and it keeps us awake when it is not secreted in the day time. This happens as melatonin secretion works on external influences like sunlight (in the daytime) and darkness (in the night time).
Connecting all this, scientists have proved that the circadian rhythm responds well to nature i.e. the sunlight and darkness and we get this natural setting on a camping trip. Living under the blue sky, we are exposed to the day-night changes of light, temperature and heat. Thus making the melatonin to secrete at the right time. Also, we are almost cut with the worldly pleasures like TV, smartphones and the internet (although some people like to carry their world on camping trips). This resets our body clock and realigns sleep cycle.
So, camping helps in getting back to the natural sleep alignment thus making it a good reason to camp. Apart from all the leisure and fun fixing your sleep cycles should be the top most reason to plan a camping trip.