Ok, it may sound weird to actively look for places to sleep under the stars UK, instead of being a “locked outside” type of accident but hear me out. Sleep is considered to be one of the ‘Four Pillars of Health’, combined with relaxation, good nutrition, and exercise. It is not just about how much we sleep, though, but also about how well we sleep.
Around 1 in 3 people suffer from some kind of insomnia. That is a high number. There are countless studies out there that will tell you why this happens, with reasons varying from stress, too much stimulation, city lights, and anxiety. Sleeping under the stars can actually alleviate some of these symptoms and restart your body. Although it is an unconventional solution, it may just be the one for you.
If after all this you would still prefer to sleep indoors, don’t forget to check out our mattress reviews.
Top 6 reasons to sleep under the stars, comfortably!
If the idea of sleeping outside is not appealing to you, just bear with me a second. There are actually well-researched reasons that state that sleeping alfresco helps the body, mind, and soul.
Exposure to natural light and reset of our natural body clock
Have you ever heard of the circadian rhythms? Me neither. Well, not until I first started thinking about sleeping under the stars. For thousands of years, our body was taught that it was time to sleep when it was dark and to wake up when it was light. In most recent days, however, we all know it does not quite work like this. Artificial lights, city lamps, cellphones all mess with that internal wonderful clock we have, and it confuses it.
That means our internal clock is out of synch with nature, and it is one of the most common causes of insomnia. Just turning the lights off and on do not work too – our body needs natural sunlight to restart the cycle. The good news is it takes only two days sleeping under the stars and waking up with the sunrise to fully reestablish our circadian rhythms.
Do you know that feeling you get when you wake up in the countryside, go outside and take a deep, amazing breath of fresh air, making you feel energized and ready for the day? It is not just a fluke or psychological effect, fresh air can make us think and feel better.
If you have an air-conditioner or a kind of fan system, chances are you have stale air, filed with CO2, in your home. While that is not dangerous, studies have shown that it can make you feel lethargic and tired. Fresh air, alternatively, makes you feel chirpy and energetic. Since the majority of the air, we breathe in goes to the brain, that definitely makes sense.
Sleeping under the stars can vary from place to place and person to person. It is undeniable, though, that sleeping outside leaves you more relaxed than you were before. You can hear the animals, feel the wind and see the stars – a major factor for relaxation for many people.
If it is chilly, that will also improve your circadian cycles and help to tell your body it is time to sleep.
Fill up on Melatonin
Another aspect that alters the circadian cycle is the hormone melatonin. Many people take melatonin pills to help with sleep, trusting that it is a natural hormone and thus it is safe. Although that is true, what many don’t know is that the pills actually take hours to take effect and are not recommendable for chronic insomnia. They are only advisable for jet laggers and people coming from different time zones.
Sleeping under the stars can help adjust the melatonin levels in your body and let your organism know the right times to release more melatonin (making you tired) and less melatonin (making you alert).
Check out our article on Horlicks for other ways to boost melatonin.
You will probably check your phone less
Checking your phone before has long been deemed as prejudicial – and yet we keep doing it. The blue light that phones project suppresses melatonin and highly alters circadian systems. Not only checking your phone for up to thirty minutes before bedtimes shorten the sleep period, but it also lessens sleep quality. To put it bluntly, it makes you sleep bad and little.
Another factor to consider is that when we look at our phones, we are receiving dozens of pieces of information, messages, and facts. That makes our brain alert and ready to process all that, and not at all sleepy. We need to convince our brain that it is time to slow down, and browsing Facebook is not the way.
Overall stress reduction
If stress is one of the big causes of insomnia, reducing it will certainly help. Sleeping outside has emotional results such as a feeling of peace, calmness and renewed purpose. All that will relax your heart and put you in a sleep mode.
Where to sleep under the stars
Are you convinced? Ready to step outside the apartment complex and embark on this adventure? That is the first step, and the next one is to plan carefully how to execute this plan. Unfortunately, not everyone lives in a countryside house with leaps of the backyard to explore. Don’t worry though, we compiled some achievable ideas to help you get that breath of fresh air and to sleep in the open air.
Camping sites are great because they offer everything you may need. Toilet, showers, information about trails and the weather and even pre-erected tents to rent. Simply find the closest camping site to you and head there for a weekend, you will feel recharged and come back to work on Monday with completely new energy. Plan accordingly though, to avoid unpleasantness. It is a good idea to pack a sleeping bag, snacks, a torch, and a fire starter.
If you are lucky enough to have a backyard or knows someone who has jackpot! Ask them if you can sleep outside for a night, and take full advantage of that. Bringing a comfortable mattress or sleeping bag will make the experience much more enjoyable.
On the back of your car
This may seem unorthodox, but a lot of people do sleep in their cars. If you have a hatchback, you can easily transform the trunk on an improvised bed. Put the seats up and make the back as comfortable as possible with pillows, sleeping bags and duvets. Head out to a quiet destination close to nature and park for the night. Remember to stay safe though, and do some proper research about the area before going this route.
There is always a way to sleep under the stars in a hotel – if you know what you are looking for. Why not book a room with a balcony, or even better, a retractable roof? This astonishing hotel in Italy has a room where you can, with a push of a button, open the roof to the heavens and enjoy a cozy alfresco night on a luxurious bed.
Is camping not really your vibe? What about glamping? Luxury camping brings out the best of two worlds. While you are technically camping on the outside, you’ll also have access to the best amenities and be extra comfortable. There are all sorts of glamping, from yurts – an enormous tent with sofas, beds and pillows that give out a serious boho-chic vibe – to domes – literal big transparent glass domes that let you see the sky while being comfortably covered.
Bubble tents are the new hype on the camping world. They are a fantastic way to sleep outside while being sheltered from the weather and animals. It consists of a strong plastic bubble completely transparent and strong enough to withstand wind and rain. There are some stunning places around Europe where you can sleep inside a bubble, some even suspended among trees! Check some here if you are planning your next trip and it sounds interesting.
Farms and eco stays
Many farms and eco stays are all about connecting to nature, so sleeping in the open will be an option. Step outside your comfort zone and look for more rustic and nature-oriented accommodations.
Finally, on a warm summer night, why not drag your duvet to your balcony and spend a refreshing night on the balcony? Even the change of scenario alone will be enough to revitalize your sleep, and the natural sunlight will do wonders for your circadian cycle.
There are no downsides to sleeping under the stars, so consider doing so once a month. You will soon reap the benefits of this liberating experience and, with changes in your mood and disposition that palpable, will celebrate this practice just as much as me.
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