Sleep and nature
A good night’s sleep is characterized by sleeping several uninterrupted cycles per night. Each cycle lasts 90 minutes and the body moves through phases of REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM sleep during these cycles.
Why do we need a good night’s sleep? Well, sleep is meant to be restorative and is said to:
- help improve cognitive function (memory and learning)
- allow muscle growth and tissue repair
- release growth hormone
- rid the brain of toxins
Why Do We Sleep, Anyway?
Healthy Sleep, Harvard site
There are now studies that suggest access to nature helps you sleep better.
How to sleep naturally when travelling:
- Sleep in a rustic log cabin after a day hiking in the mountains. The exercise and fresh air along with natural setting should help you sleep well.
- Sleep in a hammock on a tropical beach while the sound of the waves and the cool ocean breeze help lull you to sleep.
- Sleep in a tree top hotel where the trees provide a safe cocoon from the elements.
- And in the absence of immediate access to nature (i.e. a hotel/hostel in a large city) recreate the smells of nature by using essential oils e.g. frankincense, lavender and spikenard are calming and help induce an aromatically peaceful sleep.