4 Tips for good sleep in the great outdoors
Nov 30, 21
The festive season is here!
This includes activities such as barbeques and gardening, swimming, and camping. Camping can be an enjoyable way to enjoy your time- being away from the bustle and hustle of everyday life, getting back in the natural world, and sleeping under the stars.
Being outside is a fantastic method to get a great night's rest.
But is it healthy for you?
It might seem not easy if you're not an experienced camper or haven't had a night of camping before. Don't worry. If you're prepared, making sure you get a great night's rest outside could be your most-loved thing to do!
The Health Benefits of the Great Outdoors
People, in general, started to spend more time indoors since the use of computers became prevalent. This has gotten more severe in the past year because of quarantine restrictions, but now that those restrictions have been lifted, the possibility of us enjoying the wonderful outdoors and the oxygen-rich air their fantastic advantages.
Sunlight and Vitamin D
I tell all my patients light is medicine. Sunlight is one of the most effective remedies you could receive, as it can help your body produce Vitamin D.
Vitamin D assists in keeping your body and immune system in good health. The sun is also the most effective way to aid your brain and body get up each day. It's not a long time either. Just 30-minutes of exposure to light in the early morning, particularly sunlight, will provide your body with the Vitamin D it requires and contribute to greater cognitive efficiency.
Being Outside Encourages Exercise
Outdoor activities make you better able to work out. Factors such as breeze or uneven ground can make your workouts more varied and also help burn calories. If you're trying to get fit, getting outdoors is a great way to begin!
It Gives You a Mental Health Boost
Activities that are relaxing, low-stress like strolling outside or taking in the sun's rays can improve your mood and ease anxiety. The sun's rays boost your serotonin levels and help keep you calm, happy, and focused.
Also, spending time in the forest will benefit your mental and physical well-being. It's referred to as " forest bathing--" originated from the Japanese word shinrin-yoku (forest bath). People can reap incredible relaxation and health benefits by taking a break and being in nature for a while.
Forest bathing isn't as bizarre as it seems, And yes, you can put clothing on! It's not the same as running or hiking. Instead of focusing only on the physical aspects of the trek, it is essential to immerse you in the spiritual aspects of the experience. There isn't a specific physical location to be taken; therefore, relax and wander around. Let your senses fully absorb the surroundings and be absorbed by the sights of sounds, sights, smells, and the sensations that come from this peaceful landscape. It is essential to keep your mobile phone in your purse or pocket and switch off or change to airplane mode before starting. It is essential to avoid distractions during this time.
Connecting to the natural world around you can improve your well-being and relaxation, significantly boosting your happiness and mental health.
It's Great for Your Sleep
The human cycle of circadian activity is directly affected via light exposure, specifically those of the sun. Before the advent of our electronic devices and artificial light sources, your circadian rhythm was entirely affected by the sun. This is why we get up in the morning to the sun and go down at night as the sun is setting.
Exposure to artificial light slows the natural clocks that regulate our circadian rhythms, and exposure to artificial blue lighting in the evening can hinder our production of Melatonin. This makes it hard to fall asleep and stay in bed. But, being outside helps align our circadian clock with the sun's timetable and helps the brain produce enough Melatonin to allow us to sleep at the right time and get the excellent quality REM sleep we require to be refreshed in the morning.
What are the Benefits of Sleeping Outside?
It was already clear that getting outside would help you sleep more comfortably. Therefore, does more time spent outside result in better sleep? In fact, yes.
In a study conducted in The journal Current Biology, the participants went on camping expeditions in the backcountry without technology. This includes the use of electronic devices and flashlights. Before the expeditions, participants would stay up until midnight every night and wake up at 8 AM because of their school, work, and social calendars.
In the wake of the camping trip, researchers found that increased exposure to sunlight and a lesser artificial light had a beneficial influence on the participants' circadian rhythms. The result was an hour-long backward shift and participants sleeping approximately two hours earlier every night.
Modern living environments can cause delays of around two hours in our circadian clocks. This was reset after the participants spent a few days in the forest, away from any factors adversely influencing their circadian clocks.
This suggests that exposure to light in the daytime and less exposure to light from artificial sources at night could assist people in resetting their internal clocks and determining the most efficient sleep routine for their lives.
Does Napping In the Backyard provides the same benefits as camping?
Some hours of rest in a tree will not cause as much of a change to your circadian rhythm as an unplugged time in the woods; however, it can be beneficial.
As I mentioned above, the outdoors helps us adjust our internal clocks with the sun's timetable. If our bodies are operating in line with the sun's calendar, the brains of our bodies will release the proper amount of Melatonin so that we can get to sleep on time and get the best sleeping schedule each night.
Therefore, make yourself comfortable when you're out! Be sure to avoid sleeping too late in the day or too much, which will make it more difficult to fall asleep when you're required to.
Tips for Sleeping Outside Comfortably
If you're settling down for an outdoor nap or are preparing for a few days in the forest, proper preparations could be the difference between a restful night and a sleepless night due to the change of scene. Take a look at these suggestions when contemplating sleeping in the open air.
1: Use the Right Equipment
If you're taking a nap in your backyard, you will require nothing more than a comfortable chair or hammock or a peaceful area to sit. If you're camping in the wilderness, you'll likely require some additional items to ensure you're getting good rest. These items could include:
- Sleeping bags are especially important to pick one depending on the type of weather or temperature you're anticipating. You aren't likely to be caught unprepared when cold weather strikes.
- Sleeping pad for keeping yourself away from the hard floor and providing a comfortable sleeping space.
- A great pillow. If you don't have space restrictions taking a pillow at home can rest more comfortably. In other cases, small camping pillows can be a great alternative.
Even choosing the right tensor lack it if you decide to sleep under the stars can greatly impact your quality of sleep. Make sure you consider the options that best suit your particular situation, and then pack what you'll need.
Of course, If you're laying on the beach, make sure you have sunscreen.
2: Make Good Use of Earplugs and Eye Masks
The great outdoors sounds are often included in white noise devices and similar applications and for the right reason! The peaceful nature of the night, when coupled with the sound of crickets chirping or the sounds of the water around, can create a stunning and serene picture.
But, the noise at night can be quite intimidating for some who are camping.
Earplugs are a low-cost and easy way to block out noise so that you can rest peacefully. Like that, an eye mask can be great to block out light and aid in sleeping regardless of the proximity of camps, flashes, or any other light sources. The darkness that comes with eye masks can be great for stimulating your brain to produce the hormone melatonin.
3: Follow Your Normal Sleep Schedule and Routine-- Unless You're Trying to Reset
It's attractive to lie awake late looking up at stars, eating while drinking an extra mug of beer, perhaps two or telling scary tales around the campfire. However, your sleep will be grateful when you stick to your sleeping routine and time to bed.
Like at home, it's crucial to not eat too late at night. Making s'mores in the evening is an enjoyable experience; however, it's not likely to keep you awake all night.
While camping, ensure to plan your schedule for your days and evenings to anticipate your usual nighttime bedtime. When setting up your camp, make sure you allow yourself enough time throughout the day to complete the task to ensure that you aren't making your tent ready when you're supposed to rest.
If you're trying to reset your circadian rhythm, try to match your days with the sun's schedule when it rises and then get ready for bed once it starts to set. Change your routine for the night to ensure that you're ready to go to bed when it begins becoming dark outside. It may take some time to get used to; however, the final result is certainly worth it!
4: Sleep in the Right Spot
In the same way, be sure that the place you've decided to lay down in is the perfect spot for a good night's sleep. If you're sleeping outside, it's just as simple as finding an area that is quiet and shaded and putting your hammock. If you're planning an adventure in the wilderness, it is important to keep some things in your mind.
- Be sure that the location you choose for your sleeping space or tent is dry, level and free of obstacles that might hinder sleeping. The soft grass can be a suitable place to sleep if it's not damp.
- Consider any noises that might be a possibility into account; could it disrupt your sleep. If your companion or friend were to wake up at midnight to take a bath? Do you have other campers in the vicinity? Are you in a zone with lots of pedestrians?
- Are there bathrooms nearby, in case you want to use them at night?
A restful night's sleep in the great outdoors might seem like a different experience than sleeping inside. However, it's not. If you can find an uncluttered, peaceful spot and make a perfect sleeping environment for yourself, It could be much easier than you initially believed.
It doesn't matter if you're an avid lover of the outdoors or just starting how to appreciate it; you can't ignore the health benefits being outdoors can provide. A short amount of time could have a huge impact on overall health and fitness, mental well-being, and sleep quality.
The summer months are a great opportunity to go outdoors and take in the beauty nature offers. Why not go outside and give sleeping outdoors a chance? You may be amazed at the benefits of breath of fresh air as well as Vitamin D could do to your sleep.
Certified Sleep Counsellor