Getting outside to get as much sunlight during day and getting as dark as possible during night is the best way to improve circadian rhythm, improve mood and health in general.
Nowadays we spend most of the time closed doors, whether it´s in our office, classroom, home and we spend that time sitting in front of a computer or tv. This sedentary lifestyle is causing a lot of health problems. We evolved to see and get direct sunlight during the day and to have complete darkness at night, that´s how it´s supposed to be.
Getting direct sunlight during day not only improves the quality of sleep but also improves your overall health. We´re seeing right now a lot of information about vitamin D regarding to Covid-19, spending time outdoors to get sunlight during day is the best way to get vitamin D and if we lower light exposure as the sun comes down until we get completely dark for the night improves circadian rhythm. Nature works in cycles and our body also works in cycles, the more we are able to work in the same cycles as nature the better it is for our body. When our body gets out of rhythm or out of sync with this cycles everything starts working out of harmony, the circadian rhythm takes all hormones and systems on our body out of balance.
We know that sleep is crucial and we need to make sure that the amount of sleep we get is high quality, one of the ways to make this happen is by manipulating light or using light at dark the best way possible. Getting direct sunlight first thing in the morning keeps your circadian rhythm in balance, it tells your body it´s time to be aware and active and by lowering light as the sun comes down it tells your body to start getting ready for rest, recovery and cleaning.
It´s hard for us to match completely the cycles of nature and to wake up as the sun rises and turn all electric devices as the sun comes down, this is when amber glasses, red light and other stuff to block blue light is helpful. Even though I still recommend to avoid bright light at least 60 minutes before going to bed and to get outside and get direct sunlight for 20 minutes every day. If you can´t do it first thing in the morning it doesn´t matter just make sure you get sunlight 20 minutes a day, it can be at lunch time.
Also if you buy some bulbs to manipulate light during the day you can use some blue light spectrum in the morning and red light at night.
We also need to mention that when we get sunlight exposure our brain releases serotonin which boost our mood and help us increase focus and concentration and it also has a calming and relaxing effect. This IS why exposing ourselves to direct sunlight first thing in the morning can help us feel better throughout the day, we can also get outside at lunch time to get more sunlight and it can help us end our day in a better way.
Lack of sunlight has a negative impact on our mood and mental health, if the levels of serotonin are low we feel sad and it can lead to depression and other mental health issues.
We all know that our body makes vitamin D when we are exposed to sunlight, but nowadays most of us are deficient on this vitamin which creates a lot of health problems. Vitamin D has a huge impact on the functioning of the cells which can improve or worsen diseases. Getting enough sunlight so that our body can make vitamin D can help us prevent diseases, now, there´s so many people saying that direct sunlight exposure can cause skin cancer so you need to use sunscreen, and some people say that if you use sunscreen your body is not getting the sunlight exposure, because… That´s what sunscreens are for. The important point here is to find balance, you need to have enough sunlight exposure, if you´re going to spend a lot of hours outside then you may need to use sunscreen, but if you only get 15 or 20 minutes it may not be necessary.
If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.