Bio-clock reset by camping?
Study finds artificial light sources could throw off natural sleep cycle
Artificial sources of light from phones, computers and TVs could throw off the body’s natural sleep cycle, research finds.
For the study, published online in Current Biology, researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder recruited eight healthy adults who stuck to their regular daily routine for a week, then spent the next week camping, according to MedlinePlus. With only the sun and campfires providing light, the participants became more in-sync with the natural world.
In measuring melatonin levels at the end of each week, the campers’ “biological night”—when melatonin levels begin to rise in the evening to help the body sleep—kicked in about two hours earlier than when they were at home, and the campers’ melatonin levels dropped off about an hour before they woke. Past studies have found that in artificially lit environments, people’s melatonin levels don’t drop until about two hours after they wake up, leading to morning grogginess.