Can a little sunlight in the morning make a huge difference in your life?
Since the advent of modern science, it has been said that sunlight gives you Vitamin D, and is thusly considered good for your health. Sunlight has been shown to improve mood, make you more alert, and keep circadian rhythms on track. Clinical research suggests that about 30 minutes of exposure to bright light can help alleviate sleep disorders, depression, and seasonal affective disorder, which is especially pertinent in these winter months, but what is the science behind it?
On a chemical level, cells in the backs of our eyes have a measured response to light which triggers the brain and body to wake up, and the hypothalamus to shut down the production of melatonin, as well as increase the production of serotonin. Serotonin is the chemical that makes us happy, so getting sunlight in the morning will not only wake us up, but elevate our mood. Being more alert in the morning will in turn lead to a more productive day, and help you get a better night’s sleep the following night.
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If you want to try this out for yourself, try sleeping with the curtains open. If your alarm doesn’t tend to go off until well after the sun is up, try investing in a sleep mask, and remove it when the alarm goes off, but before you open your eyes. If you don’t have immediate access to sunlight, try scheduling a morning jog, or even going outside to drink your morning coffee or tea. Do this for one week and see if you notice more productivity during your days, and an easier time falling asleep at night.
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