The trick is not the fresh country air but tuning into the natural cycle of light and dark. Picture: Supplied

London - Those struggling to drop off to sleep at night should consider going on a weekend camping trip.

Spending a couple of nights under canvas can reset our internal body clocks to help us go to sleep earlier, scentists found.

The trick is not the fresh country air but tuning into the natural cycle of light and dark. Modern life is known to affect sleep. The distraction from gadgets, the light from their screens, as well as electrically lit homes, worsen sleep quality and quantity.

But researchers have found that a weekend of living and sleeping under the stars can shift the body’s internal body clock by more than 2.5 hours so people begin to feel sleepier earlier in the evening. 

Dr Kenneth Wright, a sleep expert at the University of Colorado, whose study is published in the journal Current Biology said: "We think the body clock shifts quickly because sunlight and removal of electrical light at night sends a strong signal to the body.

"There are some people who have difficulties falling asleep because their body clock timing is very late and our findings may help to initiate treatments for that group."