In this article I dig deep into the science behind, why we feel so rejuvenated after those mountain power naps. During these naps we generally find ourselves sleeping directly on the ground, Which most don’t think about but is the practice of grounding an ever growing study where one touches the earth with bareskin to aid in many things I’ll be diving into in detail below. But most don’t realize these same benefits can be achieved through light layers of clothing. And doing so utilizing not only our feet but our entire body only multiples its effectiveness.
Grounding also known as Earthing, has been around for ages but most recently brought mainstream in 1998, by Clint Ober, who realized our rubber soled shoes were insulating us from the earth’s rejuvenative energy. It has a host of potential health benefits, one of which is its association with improved sleep, reduced stress and anxiety, improved mood, increased energy, and improved circulation.
Grounding helps your body to let go of built up tension, allowing your body to relax and be more centered. It is believed that by walking or standing barefoot on the Earth’s surface, electrons are exchanged and conducted through your body, aiding in restoring the electrical balance of your body and the natural functioning of its cells. Other health benefits associated with ground include reduced inflammation, improved digestion, reduced joint pain, and better skin health.
Another huge factor is reduced noise levels, this is the closest your body has come to near silence in God knows how long. Noise pollution has become an unfortunate reality for many Americans. While many may not even notice their increased exposure to sound, studies show that noise levels can have several detrimental health effects. From basic irritations caused by loud conversations to heightened risks for depression, anxiety, and other physical health issues, the sheer level of sound Americans must contend with has taken its toll.
So what exactly is causing this barrage of noise that affects us on a daily basis? According to the World Health Organization, over one-third of people in the U.S. are exposed to sound levels beyond recommended limits.
For example according to the Federal Highway department, Levels of highway traffic noise typically range from 70 to 80 dB(A) at a distance of 15 meters (50 feet) from the highway. These levels affect a majority of people, interrupting concentration, increasing heart rates, or limiting the ability to carry on a conversation. The noise generated by a conversation between two people standing 1 meter (3 feet) apart is usually in the range of 60-65 dB(A). Most people prefer the noise levels in their homes to be in the 40-45 dB(A) range, similar to the levels found in a small office.
Where as the most common noise level of our public land and wooded areas are 32 decimals partly due to the thick timber aiding in noise reduction.
The rate at which we are exposed to noise levels is unlike anything we’ve experienced in all the time we’ve wandered the earth. The first engine was built around 1860 first Automobile was made in 1886, the first radio was made in 1895, and 1913 brought about the invention of the refrigerator which gave the very few with electricity the ability to extend the life of their groceries to a mere 25% of Americans who had electricity by 1925 something to listen to, other than their immediate friends and family. Just two years later in 1927, the television was invented
Our everyday exposure to excessive sound levels is wreaking havoc on our bodies which is indicated by our health, particularly our mental well-being. Even long-term exposure to even relatively low levels of noise has been associated with a high prevalence of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. What’s more, it can also increase stress levels and decrease our quality of life. With so much going on perhaps that lower level of noise combined with carefree nature of a nap lying upon the ground, surrounded by vast wilderness is just the internal reset we’ve been lacking all along.