Spending Time Outdoors May Help Reduce Insufficient Sleep

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Spending some time in the great outdoors can have a positive effect on sleep habits, especially in men.

While time spent outdoors is known to improve health behaviors and mental health through physical activity and lower levels of depression, the relationship between insufficient sleep and exposure to the natural environment is not well known. Diana Grigsby-Toussaint, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and colleagues examined the relationship in a large national, multi-ethnic sample (n=255,171) of U.S. adults 18 years and older enrolled in the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

The researchers used multiple logistic regression to determine the association between self-reported days of insufficient sleep in the past 30 days and access to the natural environment, using one to six days of insufficient sleep as the referent group for all analyses.

Participants who reported 21 to 29 days of insufficient sleep had lower odds of natural environment exposure. Statistically significant lower odds of natural environment exposure were also seen in men reporting seven to 13 days, 21 to 29 days, and 30 days of insufficient sleep, based on stratified analyses. The researchers also found that access to greenspace was protective against insufficient sleep for men and people aged 65 years and older.

man outdoors
Spending Time Outdoors May Help Reduce Insufficient Sleep

Exposure to the natural environment may improve health behaviors and mental health outcomes such as increased levels of physical activity and lower levels of depression associated with sleep quality. Little is known about the relationship between insufficient sleep and the natural environment.

Multiple logistic regression models were used to explore the association between self-reported days of insufficient sleep (in the past 30 days) and access to the natural environment in a multi-ethnic, nationally representative sample (n = 255,171) of US adults ≥ 18 years of age enrolled in the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

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