Study: Why Your Bedtime Matters Just As Much As the Number of Hours You Sleep

Sure, setting a bedtime alarm might sound like an eye-roll-worthy suggestion. But a new study performed by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital shows that doing so could have some eye-roll-tempering impacts on your life. Think: better work performance and the ability to actually stick to your morning workout schedule — for once!

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The Checkup: Why This Counterintuitive Weight-Loss Tip Works 

• When you’re trying to lose weight, your goal with your workouts might be just that: To lose weight. But trainer Tony Gentilcore makes a good point: Replacing your thoughts of weight loss (seriously, forget it!) with another purpose for exercising — a goal separate from the simple aesthetics-focused goal of weight loss — like finally being able to do a pull-up, could be the key to actually reaching your weight-loss goals in the end. [Women’s Health]

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The Checkup: Here’s When Your Sleep Quality Starts to Plummet

• New research published in the journal Neuron found that Delta sleep (that’s restorative sleep, where your brain consolidates memories and clears junk) declines by a whopping 50 percent in some men when they hit their 30s, as compared with their 20s. Women are luckier, seeing more like a 25 percent decline in their 30s. The folks over on Discover break down the why — and how to try your very best to maintain your sleep quality. [Discover]

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The Checkup: The 10-Minute Trick to Overcome the Dreaded Afternoon Slump

• The dreaded afternoon energy slump hits harder than ever on Fridays, when you are counting down every single second until the clock strikes five. But research shows that, instead of reaching for a shot of espresso come 2 p.m., taking on a set of stairs for 10 minutes could be just the fix to perk yourself up and make it through the rest of the day. Worth a try, right? [Men’s Health]

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A Science-Backed Reason to Go Camping (Plus: Where to Camp Around Philly)

Spring is here, which means that the folks of Philadelphia have begun to emerge, slowly but surely, out of hibernation. Eventually, by May I’d say, this city becomes a different place — it’s more crowded than usual, but not yet as smelly as it will be once August hits and, after exploring the Wissahickon for weekends in a row, us Philadelphians get the urge to plunge into the woods outside the city.

And if you need an excuse to skip out of the real world for a weekend, let it be known: A recent study from the University of Colorado at Boulder found that a weekend in the woods can seriously improve sleep. Turns out, a weekend of camping can help reset your internal clock, which has probably (definitely) been affected by modern life (read: spending your entire life looking at screens). For the small study, researchers sent small groups camping in Colorado. After a week of camping, folks had reset their internal clocks to fall asleep and rise two or more hours earlier than before and lost a midday jet-lagged feeling they usually experienced. Long story short: Camping seems to be good for fixing sleep woes.

Now that you have an excuse to ditch town for a few days, the real question: Where to camp? Not to worry: We’ve got you covered there. We chatted with Christina Saboe, owner of Fireside Camp Supply, and Charlotte Bronner, co-owner of Trove General Store, to see where they go when the camping bug bites. Does hiking with waterfall views sound appealing to you? How about setting out on the water and canoeing your worries away? Below, their top picks for where to pitch a tent around Philly.

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