Watching the sun rise in the morning can help you sleep better at night.
Not kidding! The benefits of sun in the morning include increased energy, immune function, better mood and a good night’s sleep. It’s actually called light therapy and the natural sunlight is hands down the best way to get it.
Getting morning sunlight in your eyes and on your skin (both places have photoreceptors) helps to reset your body’s inner circadian clock. This inner clock is most sensitive about an hour after waking up and about two hours before your bedtime (more on that). Bright morning light is an important cue for your body’s sleep cycle. The light you are exposed to during each day helps your body to know when it is time to wake up, and cortisol levels rise (healthy!). It also tells your body when to go to sleep, and start melatonin production (also healthy!).
These hormones are major players when it comes to hormonal health.
When cortisol levels are all wonky, like low in the morning and high in the evening, then hormone production follows suit. Not cool. It’s amazing how something as simple as getting outside in the morning can have profound effects on your overall health.
How to take in the sun?
Well, the 30 minutes around sunrise is the safest time for sun gazing. But you can get sunlight anytime after you wake up. Go outside WITHOUT contact lenses, sunglasses or prescription glasses. But, you say, I’m as blind as a bat without my glasses! Don’t worry, I hear you. Go outside with your normal glasses on and then find a safe spot to sit or stand, remove your glasses, and relax for at least 5 minutes, letting the sunlight hit your skin and naked eyes. You do NOT need to stare directly into the sun. Ouch!
Okay, so if bright light in the am helps me to wake up, what does it do in the evening?
Remember how I said your circadian clock is sensitive to light 2 hours before your bedtime? That means that the artificial light that we surround ourselves with (scrolling a phone, watching Nexflix, working on a laptop) all disrupt the normal production of melatonin and cause cortisol to rise (which should be a morning response!)
What to do? Well, you can be super disciplined and turn off all screens 2 hours before you go to bed. Try reading a book or taking a mineral bath. Or, you can use blue light blocking glasses. These glasses have amber colored lenses that specifically block 100% of the artificial blue and green light that messes with your sleep patterns and circadian rhythm. I love RA Optics and you can use my code SIMPLHOLISTIC to get 10% off.
The Simpl Wellness Challenge is On!
If you are joining in the second annual Simpl Wellness Challenge, the #simplholisticsunriseclub is the first week’s challenge! Visit Instagram for more or check your email inbox. It’s happening July 1-31 and there are tons of cool prizes including the chance to win a pair of RA Optics glasses! Get in on the fun and initiate action on your wellness journey! Join in here!