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Let me tell you the story at the beginning of this post. I am writing this article about morning light exposure from scratch for the second time! I just finished this post and clicked the “Save” button and went to feed dogs. I came back and it showed me “This link has expired“. I just lost the whole article which I have written. I really don’t like these kinds of moments! ;( But I just thought that maybe it is a good thing. Maybe this motivates me to write something better, then let’s do it again!
Light’s impact on physiology is scientifically well established. The type and timing of exposure to light are important, though, and all light is not considered equal. Artificial light doesn’t have the same effect as unfiltered sunlight.
Picture made by Joanna Zawiślan-Siuda
Let me know how many hours per day you are exposed to sunlight? I am pretty sure, there are days when you don’t get any direct sun during the many days in the row. Especially during the winter, when days are short and you work long hours at the office it is really difficult to get direct light. However studies show that direct light especially in the morning can help with better sleep, depression, alertness and so on.
Benefits of morning light exposure?
- It helps with greater alertness
- It regulates internal clock
- It helps with deeper sleep by regulating the patterns of sleep and wakefulness what effects in better mood the next day
- It helps brain to stop production of melatonin and starts with releasing of wake promoting neurotransmitters such as dopamine, histamine, norepinephrine, which makes people feel simply good
- It suppresses melatonin secretion, which wakes the body up
- According to study Sleep Health, it helps with stress and depression
- There is even something like light therapy which helps with following:
- Circadian rhythm disorders
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
How to get light when we don’t have time for it?!
I know how busy we can get over days. Trust me, I know what it means constant meetings when you don’t even have time for pee pee. But let me share with you a few ways which helped me with lack of time:
- Just get up from the bed and go outside for a while, simple like that
- Get your morning coffee and drink it on the balcony
- Do your morning yoga outside, even it is still chilly outside, wear proper clothes and get out
- Get your laptop and work a bit on the balcony
- Maybe your breakfast or lunch will taste better on the patio
- Workout outside instead of inside
- Earthing, just get out in the morning barefoot on the snow in the winter or on the grass in the summer
- Play outside with dogs for a few minutes
- You don’t really have time? Just get on the balcony or open the window for 1 min before you will return to your desk after visiting toilet
Sunshine isn’t just a symbolic and cheery way to welcome a new day. It’s a real, physiological human need.
What is the most optimal way of morning light exposure?
- Get direct sunlight within one hour of waking up
- Spend outside 30-45 min ideally, but even a few rounds of 1 min exposure will be good enough
- Directly light, open the window even if it is a winter and get some nice sunshine!
Give yourself a chance
Just try it out. Always, try out before disregarding. It doesn’t mean it needs to work for you, maybe it will not. But everything that potentially can help your health is worth trying. Did you try out the latest method which I have shared here last time? Did you try drinking water in the morning instead of a cup of coffee? Share your experiences in the comments!
This part is another item in my morning routine. If you liked this post, please, share with friends and family.
Zaneta loves challenges so deciding about career path she has chosen typical male industry. Woman who codes. Every 1-2 years she lives in different part of the world. Gym dates is something what she specialised in. Healthy lifestyle, extreme sports and motorbikes have stolen her hear years ago.