Sleep is incredibly important for our mental, physical and emotional health. And yet, about 40% of Canadians experience disordered sleeping. There are serious health implications of incurring sleep debts including: heart disease, depression, diabetes, weakened immune systems and impaired cognitive abilities (which can lead to risk-taking behaviours). This is serious stuff! So, how do we get a better sleep?
Turns out, the answer may be camping.
A recent study showed that camping could help reset our internal clocks within a week. Exposure to unnatural light in our modern world usually delays our clocks by about two hours. This delay, as you can imagine, costs us sleep. Unnatural light affects our melatonin and serotonin levels, which are two antagonistic hormones that largely control our sleep/wake cycle. De-stressing and exposure to natural light (and the absence of light) can do amazing things for our sleep; it has even been touted as a cure for insomnia.
However, what if you have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea? Isn’t camping challenging when you need a machine to help you breathe? Maybe not. There are generators (like this one) that are quiet and can last 15 hours on one charge. So, if you suffer from sleep apnea and need a CPAP machine, you can finally go camping without worrying about losing the power supply to your breathing machine. You can even recharge the generator with solar panels that you install on the roof of your RV!
Maybe your doctor won’t write “camping” on an Rx pad but some time spent outdoors is one of the best things you can do for your sleep.