Most people are aware of the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. However, what many don’t realize is that the timing of when you sleep is just as important as how long you sleep. Our bodies have an internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, which regulates our natural wake-sleep cycle.
The circadian rhythm is controlled by environmental cues, such as sunlight. Exposure to sunlight in the morning helps to “reset” our internal clock and promotes healthy sleep at night. Unfortunately, modern life often prevents us from getting enough morning sun exposure. Office workers are stuck indoors all day, while students may have early classes that start before the sun comes up.
Athletes are particularly susceptible to circadian rhythm disruption due to their demanding training schedules. Early morning workouts or late night competitions can throw off their natural sleep patterns. This is why it’s so important for athletes to make an effort to get some morning sun exposure whenever possible – it will help you perform at your best and recover more quickly from strenuous exercise.
So next time you’re feeling groggy after a sleepless night, try heading outdoors for some sunrise yoga or a quick walk around the block. Your body will thank you for it!
The importance of morning sunlight for our health
Rising before sunup may not seem like the most desirable way to start your day, however those first few minutes of rays from the morning sunlight can have tremendous long-term benefits for energy, focus, alertness, and even strength. Disrupting the clock can alter up to 90% of genetic expression, leaving our muscles weaker and reducing their capacity to perform work 10-fold.
Our circadian rhythms depend upon signals from light, when to wake and rest in order to keep our energy up throughout the day. Exposure to morning sunlight helps reinforce these rhythms, which positively affects energy levels by impacting hormones like cortisol and melatonin. Furthermore, a daily dose of morning sunlight increases alertness and focus, making it easier to tackle what life throws at you. A study from Northwestern University showed that subjects who exposed themselves to the morning sun felt stronger throughout the day than those who didn’t. So rather than reaching straight for the snooze button in the morning, try stepping outside for a few minutes first—it could be your key to having a great day!
How morning sunlight affects our circadian rhythm
The sun programs the master clock that helps synchronize our body’s natural circadian rhythms. Everyone experiences it differently, but without fail, those who expose themselves to sunlight in the morning experience increased energy levels and increased focus throughout the day. Aside from helping us sleep better at night and wake up more refreshed, getting regular exposure to sunlight in the morning can also help keep our circadian master clock in sync with the Earth’s cycle of light and dark. When this master clock is out of rhythm, it can lead to many negative effects on our health and behavior.
Therefore, taking a few moments to view morning sunlight each day can be hugely beneficial for ensuring we are running on an optimal biological rhythm.
The benefits of viewing morning sunlight
It is no secret that viewing morning sunlight has a tremendous impact on our circadian rhythm. In fact, dopamine, melatonin, cortisol and serotonin rely heavily on it! Not only can it help us maintain healthy sleeping habits but also function in a more energetic, efficient and productive manner throughout the day. Furthermore, dopamine – the ‘happiness hormone’ – can also be influenced by sunlight. So, if you want to start your day in a positive way and maximize cognitive functioning while feeling good, expose yourself to some natural sunshine in the morning!
How to get the most out of your morning sun exposure
It’s a well known fact that getting first light exposure on the horizon soon after sunrise can be hugely beneficial for keeping your circadian rhythm in check. The first light of the day helps set our body clock and sets off a cascade of hormone triggers throughout the day. To get the most out of this first light, view the sunrising for as long as possible – lookout points, rooftops, and outdoor balconies are all great places to take in some morning sunlight. If you live away from views of expansive horizons and your environment is too cloudy or polluted, don’t fret – it’s still beneficial to spend your mornings outdoors and enjoy the light when it’s present. Ideally, try to minimize the use of digital devices first thing in the morning so that you can maximize the benefits of first light exposure.
It’s important to get morning sunlight every day for our health. Morning sunlight helps to regulate our circadian rhythm, which is essential for many bodily functions. There are many benefits of viewing morning sunlight, including improved mood and increased alertness. To get the most out of your morning sun exposure, try to expose yourself to the sun for at least 15 minutes each day.