Trouble sleeping at night?

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? Ever wake up feeling like a zombie? I know I do! According to a study from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a peaceful camping trip is the answer to sleepless nights.

You see, there is a special process in our body called a circadian rhythm, more commonly referred to as an internal clock inside our bodies  It’s part of the reason people fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning. Usually, this rhythm uses sunlight to know what part of the day it is. If your body’s clock is working right, you should be able to wake up when the Sun rises and sleep when it sets. Here’s where the problem comes in. Other types of light – like the kind from TVs, tablets, light bulbs, and computer screens – confuse our clocks and make it hard for us to fall asleep! How can we reset it?

tentsThe researchers claim a one week long camping trip should do the trick. When they took a group of people out to the Rocky Mountains for a camping trip, they found that people managed to wake up at sunrise and fall asleep at sunset. Even the “night owls” – people who stay up really late at night – began to get a great night’s rest!

A camping trip sounds great, but I can’t just skip school for a week, that would be crazy! What should I do? Simply going outdoors in the sunlight can help.

“Our findings suggest that people can have earlier bed and wake times… if they… increase their exposure to sunlight during the day and decrease their exposure to electrical lighting at night,” said Dr. Kenneth Wright, from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

So, put down your tablets and step away from the TV. If you want to sleep better, ask your parents if they can take you to the park, or even better, on a camping trip!