Our sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan is calling for Brits to head to the countryside this weekend in a bid to feel the benefits of ‘hunter-gatherer’ style sleep before the clocks go forward.
Unlike the present day, where electric lighting and technology can often be disruptive to our bedtime routines, our ancestors benefitted from the soothing qualities of the great outdoors before they hit the sack.
Dr Nerina believes the fresh air and sounds from nature such as rustling trees would have contributed to a deeper sleep, and advises we head out into the great outdoors this weekend before the clocks go forward.
Dr Nerina says: “A number of studies have looked into how the natural light-dark cycle affects our internal body clocks, also known as our circadian rhythm.
“Unlike our ancestors we are constantly surrounded by unnatural electronic light, whether it is from light fittings, computer screens, televisions or mobile phones. This constant exposure to artificial light can have an effect on our sleep quality, and often even when we think we are indulging in a long sleep, the truth is our sleep quality is poor, and we still wake up feeling tired.
“Thousands of years ago our ancestors were much more in touch with natural light and the great outdoors, and often hunter-gatherers would sleep in shorter bursts, but because of the fresh air they would sleep more deeply.
“This weekend the clocks go forward and we will lose an hour of sleep on Sunday. The loss of an hour in bed is particularly detrimental to individuals who already struggle with their sleep, and recent research by Silentnight has proved that many Brits, including children, are dangerously sleep deprived.”
In order to benefit from a deeper sleep that leaves Brits feeling energised, Dr Nerina is urging families to consider a camping trip or a simple walk outdoors.
“Modern life is so busy that often we do not take the time to appreciate being outside,” she said. “Just listening to the birds in the trees or the sound of a river and taking in a big gulp of fresh air can do wonders for our physical and mental health and transform our sleep quality.”