Nature has a calming affect on your mind, and makes you sleep better. Many people have opened their eyes to sleeping outdoors – not only in nature itself, but even in your own garden, terrace or balcony (for those living in apartment buildings).
A lot of us are struggling with different sleeping issues, and suffer throughout the day because of it. Getting enough sleep is crucial to how our mind and body function on a daily basis. Good routines are important but not always that easy to set.
“Surveys from several countries show that 1 in 3 people have problems sleeping occasionally. Insomnia can become more long-lasting, especially with increasing age and in women”, says sleep specialist Kornelia Beiske at the Colosseum Clinic Medical Center.
International studies show that outdoor sleep improves sleep quality. So why not give it a try – Let`s have sweet dreams outdoors.
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Sleeping Outdoors – Getting Started
If you want to try sleeping outdoors – whether it’s at your home or somewhere in nature, just throw yourself into it! You do not necessarily have to buy a lot of expensive equipment. When (or if) you start to love sleeping outdoors, you can consider buying the right equipment needed. A lot of those equipments can also be purchased at second-hand markets if the economy is tight.
It`s great to start the process at home or close to your home, so you can pack up and return home if it`s not for you at all.
Here are some tips for you before getting started:
- Start easy – Find out where you want to start. (Your own terrace, balcony, garden – or nearby home in the woods, by the water etc).
- Pack the necessary equipment – tent (or hammock), sleeping mat / mattress / bed, sleeping bag / quilt, headlight, toilet paper, wool (underwear), wind / water repellent jacket and trousers, enough food and drink. (First aid kit, matches, and extra clothing, foods etc for the longer excursions).
- Find out how you want to sleep – Under the starry sky in a hammock, on ground in the open air or in a tent.
It`s not necessary overdoing it in the beginning. Start easy and get used to sleeping outdoors – who knows, maybe you learn to love it. Then you can start the real journey, and go even further to overnights in the woods, mountains etc – becoming an adventurer.
Good Reasons Sleeping Outdoors
Did you know sleeping outdoors can help improve your sleeping habits? Exercise, nutrition and sleep are crucial for a healthy life, but for many people the sleep falls behind. There are several good reasons for sleeping outdoors.
I`ll get right into it by listing some health benefits below:
- Exposure for natural light – Most of us know that blue light from electronics is not natural, and can affect our sleep. By sleeping outdoors you will get more of the natural light, and recharge your body`s circadian rhythm. This will make you sleep better throughout the night.
- Increase your immune system – It`s said that surrounding yourself with trees will improve your immune system. This is very popular in Japanese culture. Some type of wood, plants, fruits and some vegetables contains various essential oils, generally called phytonside. The trees emit this phytonside to protect itself from germs and insects – and humans can benefit from it by sleeping and being outdoors nearby the trees.
- Reducing anxiety and stress – There are many factors in everyday life that play a big role in how we deal with different aspects of life. This can be; Economy, work, relationships, children, school etc. By unplugging and sleeping outdoors, you most likely will feel more calm. In nature (or even on your balcony), you will experience a lot of other, calming sounds than if you sleep indoors. Some people sleep outdoors to enjoy the quietness of nature to reduce their anxiety. It can be a helpful factor and is really worth a try.
- Body and brain function better – Breathing in fresh air by sleeping outdoors, provides your body with better quality oxygen than when you sleep indoors in the stale air. Your brain will work faster (better concentration, productivity and cognition) and your body will feel better. This may help you to feel good when waking up in the morning, and this good feeling will probably last throughout the day and make your daily tasks more effective and fun.
I could list up many more good reasons for sleeping outdoors, but I will have to save those for another time and move over to the next topic.
Turn Negative Into Positive – Go Camping For a Weekend
The media is covered with negative news where the focus is the ongoing corona situation worldwide. I`m pretty sure I`m not the only person who’s quite tired of only getting negative information served. The whole corona situation can even be one of the biggest reasons to why sleep is hard nowadays.
I think it`s very important that we manage to find positive things to do these days, and that we keep in mind that someday, sometime it will all get better. Keep a positive mindset, and every day will feel a little better.
So what can you do, that has no restrictions? We all keep hearing: You can’t travel, You can’t mingle, You can’t, You can’t, You can’t…. But what about what we actually can do?
I have many ideas, but I will stick to the one relevant for the topic of this article. Go camping for a weekend. Create new memories by exploring nature in your local areas. You don’t have to travel to have new adventures. Look around and you might just be surprised of what you will find. Who knows, maybe you even find a new passion in life.
To Sleep or Not to Sleep – That is the Question
I know by experience that sleeping outdoors works magic. I typically go through various annual phases where sleep problems are present. This may be for completely inexplicable reasons, but I know that the times I sleep outdoors (in our pavilion), I sleep all night long.
I bought a hammock not too long ago, and will try sleeping in it outdoors for periods during this winter. In Norway winters can be cold, but there is nothing warm clothes can’t fix. I challenge you to do the same.
“When I Wake Up I´m Reborn”
Waking up outdoors to birdsong, rustling in leaves and other sounds of nature gives an incredibly soothing feeling. I think Mahatma Ghandis` quote is a suitable one for this feeling – “When I wake up I´m reborn”.
Thinking of all the benefits sleeping outdoors can provide, we should all do this more often. It really can help if you`re having sleep issues.
You don’t have to make it complicated and buy a lot of gear. Many people create sleeping areas around their houses using different materials (for example, make a bed of pallets and an inflatable mattress with mosquito nets around it) There are many ways sleeping outdoors, and it`s only your imagination that sets the boundaries.
I hope you found some new ideas from this article. If you decide to give it a try I would love to hear all about your opinion about it.