A little sun in the morning leads to a better night's sleep



Peter Curtis D.C. Advanced Center For Pain And Rehab


The key to a good night’s sleep may depend on how you start the day.


I have written in the past about the importance of sleep on overall health. The fundamental keys to a good night’s sleep are light, timing and temperature. These three things are triggers that signal us to sleep and to rise. Obtaining good quality sleep should be a priority in everyone’s life as it impacts many aspects of our health and function.


As we have discussed previously, our nightly routine can help induce a quality night’s sleep, but what can we do the rest of the day to help ensure a good night’s sleep?


Fortunately, there is something that is quick, effective and free. Get sunlight in your eyes as soon as possible when waking. If it is a sunny morning then 10 minutes of sunlight, preferably facing the sun, is all you need. Do not look directly into the sun, but ideally, you should face the rising sun. If you have corrective lenses, then wear them at this time, but do not wear sunglasses. You are trying to get UV rays to your retina.


What if it is overcast or raining? You can still get the benefits of sunlight; you just need more time. The recommendation is 20 minutes on overcast days. For days when there is rain, 30 minutes and potentially longer is recommended.


The reason this is beneficial is that getting UV rays to your retina early in the day helps regulate your circadian rhythm, which in turn helps you sleep later that night.


Give it a try to see if it helps. A restful night’s sleep may depend on it.

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