1. Sleeping in the open air synchronizes our sleep-wake rhythm.
Every person carries within them a schedule that tells the body when it is time to sleep or wake, also known as the "circadian rhythm." Gustav Kramer and Jurgen Aschoff found back in the 1950s that the sleep rhythm of people who spent several weeks exclusively in artificially lit rooms changed significantly. While the subjects slept from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the beginning of the experiment, after 21 days their sleeping time shifted from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Due to the ubiquitous use of screens, we are now "irradiated" with bright light even outside scientific experiments. This can cause our circadian rhythm to get out of sync and we develop sleep disorders.
When we sleep outdoors, we absorb the natural ambient light via the ganglion cells in the eye and hormonal processes synchronize our internal clock back to the natural day-night rhythm.
2. We need less sleep to be well-rested
We have already slept countless nights outside and can claim quite confidently and with a clear conscience: At the Sleep Out we need about an hour less sleep to be as well-rested, we would sleep in our bedroom in the house or apartment.
Now we have already started looking for scientific evidence for our hypothesis, but unfortunately sleeping outdoors has not been sufficiently researched. There are some small studies on the fact that high CO2 concentrations in the bedroom have a negative effect on the quality of sleep, but they are not representative, nor have the other factors for sleeping outdoors been taken into account.
Is it the fresh air, i.e. the high oxygen content in the air we breathe? Is it the natural environment, i.e. trees and plants in the garden, the unobstructed view of the starry sky or perhaps the noises at night that make sleeping outdoors so restful? We are already looking for scientists who would like to take on the phenomenon.
In any case, it is important that you are comfortable and well protected when sleeping in the open air - just like in your own bed in the bedroom. Because if you slide back and forth uncomfortably on a sleeping pad, the night can quickly become unbearably long and be garnished with deep circles under your eyes in the morning.
3. Sleeping under the open sky with friends or partner is a great communal experience.
Sleeping is something very intimate. We do it either alone or with our partners, sometimes with friends when we are traveling.
When we come to rest in the evening, there is room for the issues for which there is too little time in the hustle and bustle of the day. Body and mind go into a state of relaxation before bedtime, we perceive ourselves and also others much more intensively. This opens the opportunity for emotional and deep conversations, but also for the quiet experience of peace or admiring the billions of stars in the Milky Way.
When we harmonize body and soul in this way, it is a good prerequisite for intense interpersonal encounters.
4. When we sleep outside we get fresh air. Without wasting time.
Most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors. There, the air quality is often poor, because our houses are very efficiently insulated nowadays, proper ventilation is often missing. There are countless studies and myths about why fresh air is so good: it strengthens the immune system, makes for a beautiful complexion, is said to lower blood pressure and much more, which would become too comprehensive to describe here.
Of course, when you read articles about such studies, the sensible recommendation that you should spend at least 30 minutes or 1 hour a day outside inevitably follows at the end. Unfortunately, from our experience, that doesn't always work out. But when sleeping outdoors, we actually supply our bodies with the coveted oxygen for hours. This is probably also the explanation why we feel so fresh and vital after sleeping outside.
5. If the partner snores at night, you have a plan B.
Anyone who has a partner at their side of the bed who snores either now and then or every night knows how distressing this nightly noise disturbance can be. If the partner snores while sleeping, it is extremely difficult for the bed partner to fall asleep. Either one tries to protect oneself passively from the mouth-nose-sound waves with a pillow over the head (attention, pay attention to sufficient fresh air supply!) or headphones with noise suppression or one goes into the attack mode and holds the nose of the unsuspecting person for a few seconds or tries to obtain a change of the snoring mode by waking up.
But whether active or passive problem-solving attempts: the night's rest and thus the well-being the next day is badly affected. If the sleep rhythm is constantly interrupted at night or we simply get less sleep, the next day can be quite hard!
That's why it's always good to have a plan B, an exit option in case all snoring countermeasures remain ineffective and the night becomes an ordeal for the non-snorer. So why don't you put a bed in the garden, on the terrace or on the balcony and just leave the place of evil, if the fight seems hopeless anyway. Sleeping under the open sky frees you from snoring and gives you back a piece of freedom!
6. You can fall asleep with the stars
I don't know about you, but for me the stars are something very special. The infinite expanse of the universe is one of the great riddles in the world, a mystery that you can still look at. Looking at the starry sky makes the everyday problems look a little smaller and opens the consciousness for feelings, thoughts, wishes and much more.
In my youth, I could have spent hours at night gazing up at the sky, if at some point my neck hadn't become stiff or the surface I was sitting on too cold or hard.
If you make yourself so comfortable in a bed that neither the cold nor an uncomfortable lying position nor mosquitoes can ruin your comfort, stargazing becomes a real pleasure. Then, if you want, you can immerse yourself for hours in the moon, Mars and Venus, the numerous constellations and satellites and aircraft flying around, until you fall asleep completely relaxed with them.
7. Sleeping under the open sky is a real microadventure!
You don't have to fly into space with Virgin Galactic or do a bungee jump from a dam with Jochen Schweitzer to get away from it all. Such undertakings are rather elaborate in nature and cost a lot of time.
Microadventures are smaller activities that help you to clear your head again in everyday life or to come up with fresh ideas. They range from spontaneous picnics at the unknown end of town to spontaneously approaching unknown people. Through new experiences and impressions, our minds become more alert again and our creativity is also stimulated. We need to leave our comfort zone every now and then to be able to look at the world from a new perspective.
Sleeping outside is an easy way to get your mind back on track. The way into the garden or on the balcony is not far and an overnight stay outside is every time anew a special experience or to put it in the words of wolfgang "Sleeping outside is like being on vacation!"