Monday, August 26, 2013

Reason No. 22 to hike with kids: Get better sleep

Kids not sleeping well? Take them on a day hike.
Want to get your kids to sleep better? Take them on a backpacking trip.

A University of Colorado at Boulder study recently published in the journal Current Biology found that the artificial light of our urban existence confuses our circadian clocks by causing us to go to bed later than our bodies need to, resulting in less sleep. By comparing the circadian clocks to a group taken on an eight-day backpacking trip, the study found that natural light caused sleeping patterns to better match our circadian clocks.

“What’s remarkable is how, when we’re exposed to natural sunlight, our clocks perfectly become in sync in less than a week to the solar day,” said CU-Boulder integrative physiology Professor Kenneth Wright, who led the study.

Lack of sleep can result in a number of health issues and lead to poor performance at school and work.

Read more about day hiking with children in my Hikes with Tykes guidebooks.