Natural surroundings linked to better sleep

By Kate Hassett

Natural surroundings linked to better sleep
New study reveals that your proximity to nature can impact your sleep patterns

According to new research, getting closer to nature can impact on more than just our general wellbeing.

A new study, produced by the University of Illinois, has found that people who have access to natural environments are more likely to experience better sleeping patterns, than those in urban environments.

“It’s hard to overestimate the importance of high-quality sleep,” study author Diana Grigsby-Toussaint, a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University.

The research, published in Preventative Medicine looked at the links between green spaces and quality of sleep.

The research team reviewed data from 255, 171 adults, comparing their sleeping patterns with their geographical location and access to natural surroundings.

When asked about their sleeping patterns over a period of a month, most said they slept poorly fewer than seven nights a month.

In the participants who said they slept poorly 21-29 nights a month, the study found that they had little to no proximity to green spaces.

“Studies show that inadequate sleep is associated with declines in mental and physical health, reduced cognitive function and increased obesity,” Toussaint said in a university news release. “This new study shows that exposure to a natural environment may help people get the sleep they need.”

According to the results, the link between better sleep and natural surroundings was much stronger in men than women.

The results boomed in those aged over 65 as well.

“If there was a way for persons over 65 to spend time in nature, it would improve the quality of their sleep – and their quality of life – if they did so,” Grigsby-Toussaint said.



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