The Problem With the Modern Sleep Cycle (Smithsonian)

TentIt isn’t just work worries, busy days, or a genetic disposition for late nights that keeps us from feeling rested — it’s artificial light. The glow of digital clocks, Internet TV before bed, and even the fluorescent lights that have replaced daylight for many students and employees, upset our natural circadian rhythms and release of melatonin. Researchers tested a group of adults for sleep patterns, light exposure, and melotonin release before and after an eight-week camping trip without any source of light other than the sun — not even flashlights. They found that natural sleep patterns started to fall in line with the sunrise and sunset. Though this natural schedule may not be possible in the everyday modern world, Smithsonian magazine suggests finding a way to sneak natural light into your mornings to make getting out of bed easier and that second cup of coffee less necessary.

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