Let the Morning Sunlight In

Are you up with the sun or more of a night owl

Either way, creating a habit of getting some early morning sunlight can have profoundly positive benefits for your health. Think of the sun as a human battery. Light has many important roles in charging up our trillions of cells and setting our internal clock known as the circadian rhythm.

But early morning sun, specifically, are the most beneficial rays that you can get if you don’t spend much time outdoors during the day.

Here are just a few reasons why.

Helps You Wake Up

Morning sunlight on your face, eyes, and body sends a signal to your brain to suppress the sleepy-time hormone melatonin and increase the production of cortisol and serotonin, both of which are good for you in healthy amounts. This shift in hormone production is like a wake-up call to the body equivalent to a cup of coffee.

Helps You Sleep Better

Increasing serotonin in the morning hours sets the body up for a better night’s sleep. Serotonin is the raw material needed to make melatonin, the hormone that sunlight suppresses in the morning. But when the sun goes down, your supply of serotonin that was raised by the morning light will convert to melatonin to help you get to sleep naturally.

Helps Your Mood

Still talking about serotonin, the hormone that you raised with stepping outside in the morning hours is also known as the “feel-good” chemical. And there is a good amount of research to suggest that serotonin plays a role in the treatment of depression. This is why “seasonal depression” is often treated with spectrums of light that imitate the sun.

And of course, you get the benefits of Vitamin D and sunlight, in general, known to help lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, promote relaxation, and more.

So what do you need to do? Get outside for 10 minutes of light exposure within 30 minutes of waking up if you can. If you wake up well before the sun, just try to get out soon after it rises. Avoid using sunglasses, sunblock, or anything that would stop the sun from entering your eyes and skin. But of course, never look directly at the sun itself!! Try to get outside before 10 am!

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