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The Healthiest Vacation You Can Take

Date:02-08-2013 07:50:14 read:7
Category:Man-->Diseases

Sleep under the stars.

Can’t get any shuteye? Pitch a tent. Camping in the wilderness could help reset your sleep cycle, reports new research from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

When a group of people roughed it outdoors for a week, their internal clocks were set perfectly to the natural light-dark cycle at the end of the trip. The campers banned flashlights and iPads, and were only exposed to light from the sun and campfires. That made people’s levels of the sleep hormone melatonin rise at an earlier time, so the campers started feeling sleepy around sunset and woke up shortly after sunrise, says study author Kenneth Wright, Ph.D.

If you’re a night owl by habit, you could be at risk for obesity and mood problems, Wright says. But being exposed to more natural sunlight and less electrical light can help you achieve earlier bed and wake times.

Unfortunately, not many guys can call off work to go camping for a week. In that case, re-tune your circadian clock by upping your sunlight action during the day—go for a morning walk, open your shades, and take outdoor work breaks. And don’t forget to turn the lights down and dim computer screens at night, especially an hour before bedtime, Wright says. (The bright lights snuff melatonin production.)

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