Modern living has in many ways robbed us of our nightly rest. Studies are consistently showing that we are sleeping less and stressing more. The less we sleep, the more we stress, and the less we sleep, the less vitality we have. You might have a myriad of reasons why you need to reclaim your sleep. Tossing and turning all night and struggling to stay asleep can really make your life an ongoing misery, and while buying a new bed could help to restore your calm nights, sometimes you need to take more drastic measures.
Luckily, living in a country like South Africa means that you actually have one of the best cures for your stress and for your lack of sleep. What is that cure?
Nothing truly beats the cures that nature can provide us with. Sure, the right medication can help you to sleep soundly for a few nights but in the long run, it is not the solution that you need. What you really need is time outdoors, away from the stress of day to day living, away from the stress and noise of the traffic, away from life as you know it. A weekend camping trip is a sure way to leave you feeling rejuvenated while it also has the ability to completely turn your sleep schedule right around.
In the USA, at the University of Colorado, a small study was conducted using 9 people who were suffering from sleepless nights. Away from all distractions such as electronics, participants had no trouble falling asleep and waking up earlier than when they did at home. The natural sleep hormone that our bodies emit when it begins to get dark, was released far earlier in the evening as there was no unnatural light from devices such as smartphones.
When camping, the participants were sleeping for up to 10 hours every night and found that the benefits of the shift in the release of melatonin improved after they returned home.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is the sleep hormone that every person has and it is responsible for regulating when you wake up as well as when you start to feel sleepy. The hormone is produced by the pineal gland and it is controlled by your circadian rhythm as well as by the amount of sunlight (or natural light) that you get every day. Once the sun has set, your body naturally begins to release this hormone and the hormone stays elevated in your body for most of the night, helping you to stay asleep through the night.
When the sun starts to rise and the day starts to lighten, the melatonin levels in the body begin to drop which alerts the body that it is time to wake up. This hormone requires a delicate balance which means that the hormone levels can be easily interrupted, such as when you are stressed out.
The climate and the time of year can also play a big role in the melatonin levels in your body. This means that during the winter months when the days start getting darker earlier, your body might start producing melatonin earlier in the day, causing your sleep cycle to be interrupted. The earlier in the day your body starts to produce melatonin, the sooner you are going to start feeling fatigued and ready to sleep.
Sunlight is not the only factor that can cause a shift in your sleep due to changes in the melatonin levels. Your diet can also play a role. Many of the foods that we eat contain melatonin and when your body absorbs the melatonin, you will begin to feel drowsy. This explains why you might feel the need to go to bed after eating a delicious meal.
One of the reasons that we lack sleep in this modern age is that our melatonin levels have in a way been corrupted by the continuous exposure to blue light devices such as mobile phones and laptops. The sooner we learn that disconnecting the moment we get home is actually going to benefit our life, the sooner we will realise that our lack of sleep might have more to do with our bad sleeping habits rather than our stress.
It’s true that stress does play a big role in many instances of bad sleep, but when you combine stress with technology, you have the perfect recipe for very bad sleep. Minimising the use of devices at night while also paying careful attention to your stress is going to benefit your overall health.
Did you know that melatonin is used to treat various cancers while it is also the hormone responsible for regulating menstruation in women?
So it’s time to go camping!
With our discussion about melatonin, we haven’t forgotten about camping. How does it all fit together? Well as mentioned, the best way to rest your sleep schedule is to correct your melatonin levels, and the best way to do this is to spend a few nights beneath the stars. Just a few days away from artificial light can completely transform your sleep rhythms, helping your melatonin levels to go back to what they need to be.
If you can’t go camping anytime soon, don’t despair, there are a few other things that you can do. It starts with making sure that you are getting enough natural light during the day, so starting your day with a walk outside or by spending some time next to a window, you can give your body the boost that it needs to correct your melatonin levels. But the most important thing that you can do is to dim your lights at night and leave your smartphone, laptop, and computer off when night falls.
The best time to reclaim your sleep is right now. You can start transforming your sleep today, by making the choice to put your smartphone device off at night and to make sure that the time spent before going to bed is made up of healthy habits.
Do you need a new bed? The Mattress Warehouse as a wide selection of beds for sale, available in numerous high-quality brands. These beds for sale are affordable and cater to both homes and the hospitality industry. Pay us a visit or shop through our online factory shop.