The challenge: Change the asphalt under your feet for grass or fine sand and (re)discover the joy of sleeping in fresh air, regardless of the time or day of the week, with your most serious responsibility for the day being to lie in the shade.
What research says about sleeping in a tent
Research shows that camping for a whole week reboots a person’s biological clock. The modern way of life interferes with normal sleep because of the continuous exposure to artificial light and the body’s decreased access to sunlight. All animal species on Earth have developed biological cycles connected to the sunrise and the sunset.
Scientists have found that the widespread use of electric light after 1930 impacted on our internal physiological clocks, which allows us to stay awake till much later than evolution planned for. A group of volunteers in a research study at the University of Colorado Boulder were taken camping for a week, without being allowed to use flashlights or any electronic devices. At night the only light came from the campfire. As a result, the time the volunteers went to sleep and woke up synchronized with the sunrise and the sunset and for these seven days they managed to reboot their biological clocks.
How to make camping more interesting
Bring candles to create an even more memorable atmosphere (if there is wind and it blows them out, dig small holes in the sand/soil to put the candles in). Use a flashlight to make a theater of shadows.
For seasoned travelers
Option 1: Spend the night under the stars in only a sleeping bag (especially appropriate for summer on the beach). Option 2: Sleep in a tent on a weekday evening, then go to work on time the next day (see detailed instructions how to swap your bed for a hammock on a weekday).
Featured image: © Maria Angelova/ 203challenges