For those who have trouble sleeping researchers say that one week of camping, without electronics, resets our biological body clock and synchronizes our melatonin hormones with sunrise and sunset.
Melatonin is the “hormone of darkness,” said Namni Goel, a psychologist and sleep researcher at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Scientists use the hormone to measure photoperiods, or the physiological response that organisms have to cycles of daylight and darkness.
“It rises at night naturally, and falls during the day, suppressed by light,” said Goel.
Melatonin also drops the body’s core temperature, making it easier to sleep. People often take melatonin pills to help them fall asleep, she said.