If you’re one of the many Canadians heading to a campsite this long weekend, you might be in for a better night’s sleep.
According to a new study, spending time in the great outdoors might just push the reset button on the biological clock that governs sleep.
The small study — published in the most recent edition of Current Biology – tracked eight participants over a two-week period.
Each person was given a wristwatch that monitored their exposure to light and their activities throughout the day: first during the course of a standard week and then as they spent seven days in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains – a setting free of artificial light.
At the end of each week, a lab used the wristwatch to analyze the participants’ melatonin levels, a hormone that affects a human’s sleep-wake schedule.
The study found that the week spent in the Rockies was enough to synchronize the participants’ internal sleep clocks with the timing of the sunrise and sunset.
Even those who classified themselves as “night owls” ended up adjusting their schedules after seven days.