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sunlight in the morning benefits

6 Sunlight in the Morning Benefits

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(Last Updated On: September 12, 2022)

Sunlight in the morning benefits are enormous and can significantly impact your sense of mental and physical well-being. If you aren’t already getting morning sun exposure each day, it’s free and easy to add to your routine, but it can significantly impact you.

Sunlight in the Morning Benefits

The following are our favorite six sunlight in the morning benefits.

1. Helps You Sleep At Night

It sounds a little crazy to think that sunlight in the morning benefits can include helping you sleep better at night, but that’s the reality. Your eyeball contains a billion working parts; when the sun enters your eye, it can activate your entire brain. Indoor light is just for vision, and full-spectrum sunlight serves as a guide for all of the cells in our body through a process known as photobiomodulation.

When light enters your eyes from the outside, it transmits information to your brain and body about the time it is. Sun can signal to wake up your pituitary gland, and your pituitary gland responds by releasing the appropriate hormones.

Light entering your eyes in the morning lets your body know it needs to suppress melatonin and increase cortisol production, which is good as long as it’s in healthy amounts. Your body will also release serotonin.

Then, through the day, your pineal gland will metabolize serotonin into melatonin, helping you fall asleep at night. Essentially, getting morning sunlight exposure allows your body to create the materials it needs to make melatonin as the day comes to an end.  

If you struggle with depression or mood disorders, including Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), getting morning sunlight can help you by boosting serotonin, also dubbed the happy hormone.

2. Supports Healthy Weight and Metabolism

One of the benefits of sunlight in the morning benefits that can be incredibly compelling is the fact that it can help support your metabolism and a healthy weight. A team of researchers, when studying obesity and diabetes, found that subcutaneous white adipose tissue cells tend to shrink when exposed with exposure to the sun’s blue light. In response to the sun, essentially, our cells store less fat.

Also, sun exposure helps speed up our metabolism because our bodies release nitric oxide– a metabolic regulator.

In one study, people who got more early light exposure weighed less. Even when non-light exposure factors were controlled for, the influence of morning light on weight was significant.

3. Morning Sun Is a Mood Booster

Serotonin is one of our brain chemicals that helps us feel good. One way to control the release of serotonin is to get morning sunlight exposure.

Exposure to full-spectrum morning sunlight leads your body to produce serotonin. This helps you sleep better in the evening and improves your mood throughout the day.

4. Healthy Stress Response

When sunlight enters our eyes, it then goes to the hypothalamus. Our hypothalamus is responsible for the coordination of life-sustaining functions, and the hypothalamus also directs our stress reactions and response.

Around 100 of our body’s systems are linked to the day and night cycle. Our rhythms revolve around what the sun is doing, and light is what synchronizes most of everything else our brains and bodies are doing, including how we respond to stress.

5. Morning Light is Infrared Light

Light is made up of wavelengths, which range from blue to red. There are also invisible wavelengths, including infrared light and ultraviolet light. Morning sun is primarily infrared and blue light, and there isn’t UV light first thing in the morning.

Infrared light heals wounds, stimulates collagen, and increases bone healing. Infrared light can have anti-aging benefits and help reduce wrinkles and scars.

We know artificial blue light isn’t good for us, but the sun’s natural blue is different. Blue light in nature is balanced by other wavelengths, while artificial blue light from screens and bulbs isn’t.

6. Chronic Disease Prevention

Autoimmune conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and even cancer, are linked to not getting enough sunlight and vitamin D. In a 10-year study of relatively healthy men, those who were vitamin D deficient were twice as likely to have heart attack as men with healthy levels of the vitamin.

If you aim to get some sunlight each morning, you can increase your body’s vitamin D production.

Tips for Taking Advantage of Sunlight in the Morning Benefits

The following are some tips for getting more sunlight in the morning.

  • Try to get sunlight as soon as you wake up to set your internal clock. If the sun isn’t up yet, you can wait until it is for your sun exposure. The sun between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. can be best because it has less strong and direct rays, so there’s a lower risk of burning or any harm from the sun’s rays. During the morning, the sun has the most concentrated healing properties that help us release more endorphins.
  • Don’t wear sunglasses if possible when you go out in the morning. You want the photoreceptors in your eyes and skin to be able to communicate with your pituitary and pineal glands. When you wear sunglasses, your skin doesn’t get the message from your brain that it needs to make vitamin D, which can lead to sunburn.
  • Do something you enjoy in the morning that’s outdoors. You can take a short walk or sit outside and have breakfast, as long as the light directly hits your eyes.
  • Even if it’s cloudy, you can still enjoy sunlight in the morning benefits.
  • It doesn’t take much to notice the benefits of the morning sun. Just open the window while you drive to your home as you’re getting ready for work, for example.

If you’re struggling with sleep problems or mood disorder symptoms, try adding morning sun to your routine as soon as you wake up, and see what benefits you notice. The sunlight in the morning benefits can be pretty powerful, raising serotonin and dopamine, setting your body’s clock, and helping you sleep at night.

Sources

Mead, Nathaniel M. “Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health.” Environmental Health Perspectives, April 2008. Accessed September 12, 2022.

Gilpin, Rachael. “The Importance of Morning Sunlight for Better Sleep.” Sleep Advisor, March 9, 2022. Accessed September 12, 2022.

Sansone, Randy A. and Sansone, Lori A. “Sunshine, Serotonin and Skin: A Partial Explanation for Seasonal Patterns in Psychopathology?” Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, August 2013. Accessed September 12, 2022.

Lambert, GW Ph.D. “Effect of sunlight and season on serotonin turnover in the brain.” The Lancet, December 7, 2022. Accessed September 12, 2022.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Effects of Light.” April 1, 2020. Accessed September 12, 2022.

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