Neuroscience

Camping Syncs your Internal Clock to Nature

“Light, both natural and artificial, is a powerful cue for the circadian clock, the internal timing device that tells us when to wake up and go to sleep, when to eat, and when we are most mentally alert. As is common knowledge, people differ in terms of their natural rhythms, varying between larks (early risers) and owls (late risers). In this video abstract, Wright and colleagues explain how they measured the circadian rhythms of people following their everyday routines and then sent them camping in the woods for a week. When exposed to a more “natural” light-dark cycle, the researchers found that, surprisingly, owls dramatically shifted their clocks, now exhibiting a more lark-like rhythm. The study emphasizes the potentially important impact of lighting in our environment, particularly in modern environments in which we are exposed to little light in the day and electrical lighting at night.”

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