There is something special about the ocean, whether it be the sounds, the smell of the salty air, or the peace found from walking in the sand. It seems that the ocean allows people to boost their mood, relax and even sleep better. After just a couple of hours at the beach most people experience a great night’s rest. Heading to the beach is a great recommendation for those struggling with getting a good sleep. This is because the beach helps to relieve three issues that most individuals find to inhibit their sleep; high stress, increased anxiety and a lack of physical fatigue.
It has been found that those who have a habit of walking along the beach average an extra hour of sleep each night than those who don’t. This can be attributed to a multitude of reasons; such as the fresh air, the heat, and the sounds of the waves crashing in.
The Fresh Air
While at the beach, the sea air that we breathe in tends to be clean and fresh. The high levels of oxygen condensed in the beach environment can help to improve your sleep (2). After a trip to the beach the smell and feel of the sea air allows us to be lulled by the rhythmic sounds, along with the fresh and clean air. This may be one of the key factors as to why many people sleep better after a day at the beach.
It often seems as though after a long day out in the sun, we find ourselves feeling tired and sleepy by the end of the day. Dr. Michael Breus attributes this to the slight raise in our core body temperature as a result of a day full of sunshine. Dr. Breus found that the increase in core body temperature leads to a subsequent drop in body temperature. The subsequent drop then signals your brain to release serotonin; which is what fuels the body to sleep. Overall, the heat of being out in the sun, even just briefly, helps to reset our internal biological clock, which then helps to regulate our sleep cycle. Therefore, some time spent out in the sun helps fuel your body to achieve a better sleep at night.
The sound of the ocean waves is one of the only documented sounds shown to help with enhancing sleep. The sound of the waves rolling in can be extremely soothing to your brain, allowing you to settle into relaxation mode. While relaxed, it can help to clear your mind, decrease stress and strengthen your immune system.