Stanford neuroscientist Andrew Huberman’s research suggests morning sunlight exposure is vital to wake up the body & brain.
Consistent morning sunlight can make waking up natural and reduce relying on alarm clocks. Morning light naturally synchronizes the rhythm of the day with one’s inner circadian rhythym. It can help one feel alert and energized after waking and may reduce dependence on caffeine.
Interestingly, morning sunlight can also reduce or eliminate mid-afternoon fatigue and make it easier to fall asleep at night. A good dose of bright light in the morning is essential to effectively support one’s circadian rhythm and naturally cause one to be ready for sleep in the evening.
Your Body Cycles
All humans are synchronized with the rhythmic light-dark changes that occur on a daily basis.
Rhythms in physiological and biochemical processes and behavioral patterns persist in the absence of all external 24-hour signals from the physical environment, with a period that is close to 24 hours.
These rhythms are referred to as ‘circadian’, from the Latin ‘circa diem’ (about a day), and are attributable to internal biological clocks, driven by a major circadian pacemaker in the brain. The circadian pacemaker is entrained each day to the 24-hour solar cycle, which is the major zeitgeber (time-giver). Other zeitgebers are food intake, activity, or social cues, e.g. alarm clock.
Good temporal entrainment allows for optimal performance at the right time of the day because being able to anticipate future tasks allows the appropriate physiological and psychological preparation.
Our modern society often imposes deviations from the natural light-dark cycle which results in problems with entrainment.
Failure to adapt to environmental and societal time cues (being out of rhythm with nature) leads to misalignment of internal biological clocks. This disentrainment comes with an enhanced risk of errors, accidents, low productivity, and health risks such as the increased risk for cancer, depression, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal, metabolic and cardiovascular disorders, decreased immune responses… did I mention reduced healthspan & longevity?
“We are all light deficient and this deficiency may be the source of our physical and emotional problems.” — Dr. John Ott