Introduction: How to Feel Energized & Sleep Better
Hello, readers! Do you know how to feel energized and sleep better? As a professional engineer interested in health and wellbeing, today, I would like to discuss the importance of an everyday activity, specifically, morning sunlight exposure, and how it affects our energy levels and sleep patterns.
Dr. Andrew Huberman, a renowned neuroscientist, emphasizes this in his YouTube video. After dissecting his arguments, I have summarized his key points below, along with my reflections on how we can apply these insights.
The Power of Morning Sunlight
Sunlight and Alertness
Dr. Huberman discusses the impact of morning sunlight on alertness. He recommends getting outside in the morning, ideally within an hour of waking up. Exposure to natural light triggers a spike in cortisol, a hormone crucial for wakefulness and alertness. Interestingly, the brightness of your phone or indoor lights isn’t enough to stimulate this essential physiological reaction. The goal here is to allow as much natural light energy or photons into our eyes, which energizes us and sets the stage for a productive day.
A Science-Backed Approach
This practice of morning sunlight viewing isn’t a fad. It’s grounded in the core of our physiology, with hundreds of quality, peer-reviewed studies backing up its benefits. According to research, early-day light viewing is the most potent stimulus for wakefulness during the day and positively impacts your ability to fall and stay asleep at night.
Artificial Lights and Sleep Disruption
There is a caveat. The artificial lights in your home environment are not sufficiently bright to activate the cortisol mechanism and other wake-up mechanisms you need early in the day. However, these lights can disrupt your sleep if you look at them too late at night or in the middle of the night. So, if you wake up before sunrise, it’s best to turn on as many bright artificial lights as you can but remember to head outside once the sun is up.
Personalizing Your Morning Light Exposure
Adjusting for Weather
On cloudy or overcast days, you need more exposure. On a clear day, approximately five minutes of sunlight exposure should suffice. But with dense cloud cover or rain, you might need as much as 20 to 30 minutes.
Avoiding Sunlight Through Windows
Huberman emphasizes that getting sunlight exposure through a windshield or a window is not ideal. The light through these barriers won’t trigger the relevant mechanisms, and you would end up needing much more time to get enough light into your eyes.
Why We Should Embrace Morning Sunlight Viewing
Morning sunlight viewing is more than just a lifestyle choice; it’s a conscious decision to improve our physical wellbeing. This practice aligns with our natural physiological responses, enabling us to feel more alert and awake during the day while improving our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep at night.
By embracing this practice, we are using nature and science to optimize our health. Morning sunlight viewing is a small change with a potentially significant impact on our everyday lives. By integrating this into our daily routine, we can enhance our productivity and overall health in a simple, natural way.
In conclusion, let’s harness the power of the sunlight that greets us each morning. Let’s use this simple yet powerful tool to increase our energy levels, optimize our sleep, and improve our lives. After all, every sunrise offers us a golden opportunity to enhance our wellbeing. So let’s grab this opportunity and make the most of it!
Let health be our sunshine.
YouTube Video: How to Feel Energized & Sleep Better With One Morning Activity | Dr. Andrew Huberman