Why is morning sunlight important?


Morning sunlight is critically important to our circadian rhythms, which dictate a diverse range of bodily functions. explains several key points about morning sunlight:

  1. Sets Circadian Rhythms: Sunlight in the morning communicates to the brain that it's daytime, promoting wakefulness and setting in motion various biological processes across all cells and organs, which includes our heart, liver, gut, and brain 1.

  2. Regulates Hormones: A natural and healthy cortisol spike occurs in the morning, which is beneficial and promotes a healthy immune system as well as alertness. This cortisol release happens every 24 hours, and its timing can be influenced by when you are exposed to bright sunlight 1.

  3. Promotes Better Sleep: Morning sunlight helps suppress melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy, and aids in setting a timer for you to fall asleep about 16 hours later, enhancing sleep quality 2.

  4. Boosts Energy and Alertness: When you consistently get morning sunlight, your body quickly becomes more energized and alert as part of a natural biological response 2.

  5. Impacts on Mental Health: Sunlight exposure in the morning has profound positive effects on metabolism, likely due to the enhancement of sleep quality. It also improves aspects of mental health, focus, and alertness 3.

    Morning Sunlight

    Andrew explains the importance of getting morning sunlight to set your circadian rhythms and promote wakefulness. He emphasizes that the short pulse of cortisol that comes with morning sunlight is healthy and promotes a healthy immune system. He also gives tips on how to safely get sunlight exposure and mentions that this protocol applies to animals as well.

    Huberman Lab

    Maximizing Productivity, Physical & Mental Health with Daily Tools | Huberman Lab Podcast #28
  6. Indirect Benefits: Even though the effects on metabolism may be an indirect consequence of better sleep, ensuring early morning sunlight can also boost daytime mood and performance 3.

  7. Outdoor Requirement: The benefits require direct outdoor exposure to sunlight. Viewing sunlight through windows, glasses, or in pictures, does not provide the same benefits as it filters out essential wavelengths 3 4.

It's recommended to try to maintain as consistent as possible exposure to sunlight in the morning and to consider compensating for missed days with longer durations of sunlight viewing the following day 5.