Researchers at the University of Colorado found that nine people who spent a weekend camping in the Rocky Mountains sans screens – compared to five who stayed home – naturally fell asleep up to 1.8 hours earlier.
The body produces the sleep hormone melatonin in response to darkness, but this natural process is affected when we’re glued to our phones on television screens before bedtime. The author of the study, Kenneth Wright, found that a modern environment people’s internal clocks were delayed by two hours.
However, after the two-day trip, the campers enjoyed ten hours of sleep each night and their internal clocks shifter earlier, while those who stayed home were up later and slept in more pushing their internal clocks back even further.
Further studies have found that an altered internal clock can have significant impacts on a person’s sleepiness, mood and general health.
Given the size of the study findings should be taken with a grain of campground gravel however it does suggest that even a couple of days away from artificial light can help regulate a normal sleep schedule, even after you’ve put the tent poles away.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health.