Reasons to Sleep in the Moonlight

by: Zoe Zorka

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For sure, you’re very familiar with the "holy triad" of a good night’s sleep: a dark room, cool temperature, and some white noise in the background. What you don’t know is that you can get an equally lovely, restful snooze when you do this unconventional routine: rest under the stars. Here are the best things that happen when you sleep outdoors:

It resets your body clock.

Unfortunately, in this fast-paced society, people don’t get that sufficient dose of sunshine. In light of your business meetings to attend and e-mails to send, you don’t have the time to pause and bask in the sun, do you? This alters the body clock drastically. What everyone needs is a break from the busyness of modern living and a tune up with nature. According to one study, increased exposure to natural light helps reset the body clock and align it with natural circadian rhythms. It makes it easier to wake up in the morning. So if you’re always struggling to get up from bed and start your day, perhaps it’s time to push through with that camping trip. To make the most of your adventure, connect with nature as much as you can. Go on a hike, take a dip in the river, and build a bonfire. Spending time with nature can relieve stress, which is also notorious for messing your body clock.

It increases your melatonin levels.

Why your body clock gets messed up is closely connected to the hormone called melatonin. It’s the sleep hormone, the body chemical that lets you fall and stay asleep. Research says that production of this hormone might be inhibited when you’re exposed to fluorescent lighting and blue light (coming from your phones and gadgets). So if you notice that you’re staying up too late or waking up in the middle of the night, there’s a good chance that your melatonin levels are messed up. In the case of camping outdoors, you get to have a break from the harsh artificial lighting and enjoy the moonlight instead. If you don’t have the time and budget to go on a camping trip, don’t worry. You can have one outside your home. The lawn will make up for the greenery of the woods or mountains. Just make sure that you have enough shade. You can install a large patio awning or a sail pergola depending on the level of protection that you want.

It lets you enjoy the fresh air.

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If you’ve always been sleeping in an air-conditioned room, chances are, the air that you breathe is stale. Or if you have poorly ventilated space, you can expect an increased level of carbon dioxide. This can make you more sluggish or sleepy in the morning. What you need is fresh air — and nothing else is probably more refreshing than the breeze of the outdoors. So if you’re thinking about making backyard camping a family habit, fill up your outdoor space not only with beautiful pergolas and awnings but also with flowers that purify the air. Ask a local horticulturist about which plants are suitable for your area.

If you want to sleep better and feel more refreshed in the morning, try camping once in a while. Yes, you can go on a hike and experience a real outdoor adventure. But if you don’t have time, then step outside your home. Your backyard can be an ideal sleep oasis.