A new study suggests that being outside during the days helps you sleep better at night.
This is because not getting enough natural light during the day can cause sleep problems.
And the key takeaways from the research are that spending time outside during the day, exercising regularly, and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule are essential for getting a good night's sleep.
Previous studies indicate that at least 30 minutes of exposure to natural sunlight has a significant impact on the body’s internal clock, promoting more restful sleep.
Being outside during the days helps you sleep better
These recent findings, published in the Journal of Pineal ResearchTrusted Source, show that not getting enough natural light during the day causes problems when it comes to getting quality sleep at night.
For the study, 500 student participants at the University of Washington in Seattle wore wrist monitors that allowed researchers to monitor their sleep patterns throughout the four seasons.
While exposure to daytime light helps promote restful sleep at night, evening light may delay your internal clock and interfere with your ability to fall asleep and get good quality sleep.
Getting a good night's sleep
The authors also noted that bright midday light was more effective for improving sleep than morning light.
Tips for getting a good night's sleep include:
- Being vertical during the day: Walking and other forms of physical activity - ideally outdoors - and not lying down immediately after eating may also help you sleep better.
- Maintaining a consistent schedule: Going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time in the mornings can help train your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
- Look for signs of fatigue and low mood: If you’re experiencing any symptoms resembling depression and are having difficulty sleeping, speak with your doctor or a mental health professional for more guidance.
Meanwhile, a separate study found that children spending time on the beach or around rivers can have significant benefits for their mental health as adults.
The research found that kids who recalled childhood experiences in blue spaces, such as coasts, rivers and lakes, placed greater value on natural settings and revisited them as adults.
More than 15,000 participants across 18 countries were surveyed for the study, which was published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology by researchers at the University of Exeter.