This episode features the sun again. Last time I was discussing the importance of sunlight for our hormones in form of vitamin D production and how vitamin impacts our bodies. This time I talked about my personal benefits of early morning sunlight exposure. In short: it feels great. Yet there’s more to it, the power of sunlight.
If you are listening to podcasts or at least to Tim Ferriss then you know that many successful people have established a morning routine. This routine is what sets them up to success for whatever tasks, adventures or obstacles are ahead of them on a given day.
One of the things often mentioned, besides implementing yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, exercising, avoiding your smartphone or journaling, is light exposure.
My morning routine always evolves. As stated in the talk I rise early, do yoga and some meditation. Then I went ahead and exposed myself to light while enjoying some breakfast before heading to the gym.
Nowadays I still start with yoga and follow with meditation but I put more emphasis on meditation practice. It helps me too, or at least I work towards that goal, to empty my mind. Basically blank-slating it. After my meditation practice, I am calm and relaxed. This is the moment I use to set myself up with something great for the day. I might write down several thoughts or read a few pages in a book and ponder about it.
Afterwards, I enjoy the sunlight as far as possible for a few minutes. Unfortunately, I live in a place of the world in which direct sunlight is not often available. No matter how unfiltered or filtered, the sunlight gives me energy and resets my body.
The Power Of Sunlight: Melatonin
Studies have shown that early morning (full-spectrum) light exposure will inhibit and suppress your melatonin levels already within 5 minutes. Furthermore, this lead to a better circadian rhythm management as this early light re-setted the circadian rhythm for the day.
With your body kick-started from this you will feel more energetic throughout the day and with some light exposure in the evening, your body will realize much better that it’s time to increase your melatonin levels again. With this rhythm in place, you ought to bring your sleep to better levels. There are also many supplements out there that can help you with your melatonin levels. Use them in case of need or when you want to reset your inner clock. Here’s an article that touches the subject of supplementation.
But in order to make this really work you have to avoid blue light spectrum light sources. As it is the blue light that makes your body think that it’s day-time. That’s the catch because all our technical devices run on blue lights: TV or computer screens, your smartphone or smartwatch, all of them will disrupt your sleep if you use them.
You either get those devices out of your sight a few hours, I suggest at least two before you want to go to bed. This gives you also plenty of time to unwind and prepare mentally for bed. Or if you have to work on a PC for a paper or whatever you fancy, science suggests that you get some blue light blockers in front of your eyes.
The Power Of Sunlight: More Benefits
You might be scared that too much sunlight will kill you rather than be beneficial. Well, while roasting in the sun for hours and hours certainly seems not wise, moderation is the way to approach life; including light exposure.
We are only talking about dedicating 5-15 minutes in the morning and preferably the same in the evening too. While more sunlight exposure has its benefits too, one of them seems to be that light exposure is related to a higher life expectancy (at least for women).
The Power Of Sunlight
It might also be helpful to give your body and eyes sun exposure too and not only your face. This doesn’t mean you look into the sun with your naked eyes though. Furthermore, you can use special light bulbs that emit the right frequencies to help you to get similar light exposure as from the sun. This can come in handy during Winter times when simply less sunlight is available. Give it a try and implement this into your morning routine, I’m sure it will make your days better.
In case you have problems to create a powerful morning routine that sets you up for success let me know. We can work together on this. Just get in touch.
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