Trouble Sleeping? Go Camping For A Few Days

A recent study showed that people who spend most of their days under some form of artificial light can reset their internal clocks to match the sun's cycle after only a week out in nature.

What's the Latest Development?


University of Colorado-Boulder's Kenneth Wright and colleagues studied eight subjects as they spent a week living their lives under normal -- that is to say, largely artificial -- lighting conditions. They then sent the subjects out camping in the Rocky Mountains for a week, where their primary source of light was the sun. Tests showed that after that week, all of the subjects' internal clocks reset themselves to match the sun's schedule. This included early birds, night owls, and those in between. Details of the study were recently published in Current Biology.

What's the Big Idea?

It's a common fact that modern life, particularly in brightly-lit cities with lots of different screens drawing our attention, can negatively affect sleep. Because our internal clocks are largely set to electrical lighting patterns, melatonin levels tend to be higher in the mornings, which explains why it's harder for many people to fully wake up. Ironically, the test subjects were exposed to four times more light in the mountains than they were in their normal environments. Yet the changing quality of that light contributes to sleep regulation, whereas artificial light stays constant throughout. Dimming that light at night, as well as increasing exposure to natural light, may provide similar sleep benefits.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at The Atlantic Cities

James Patterson on writing: Plotting, research, and first drafts

The best-selling author tells us his methods.

Videos
  • James Patterson has sold 300 million copies of his 130 books, making him one of the most successful authors alive today.
  • He talks about how some writers can overdo it by adding too much research, or worse, straying from their outline for too long.
  • James' latest book, The President is Missing, co-written with former President Bill Clinton, is out now.
Keep reading Show less

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less