Why is morning sunlight important?


Morning sunlight is crucial for several reasons. According to , exposure to early-day sunlight activates neurons that signal it's daytime, promoting alertness and initiating a host of biological processes throughout the body, including the liver, gut, heart, and brain. This natural exposure induces a healthy increase in cortisol from the amygdala, a hormone that supports wakefulness and strengthens the immune system when in appropriate daily amounts. Morning sunlight also helps to suppress any leftover melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone, enhancing wakefulness and setting up the brain and body for proper metabolism. Additionally, by doing so, a timer is set for the ability to fall asleep around 16 hours later, contributing to healthy sleep patterns 1 2.

Furthermore, getting morning sunlight can make you more energized and assists in adjusting sleep patterns, even if you cannot expose yourself to natural sunlight every day, you can make up for it the following day by extending the duration of sunlight exposure. Light intensity and duration are essential for setting daily rhythms, especially for the circadian system 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

Moreover, the morning sunlight benefits are numerous and include:

  • Providing the most powerful stimulus for wakefulness throughout the day 4.
  • Promoting a healthy circadian rhythm, helping to prepare the body for sleep later 5.
  • Improving metabolism, potentially through better sleep at night 6.
  • Bolstering mood and mental health 7.

Hence, consistent morning sunlight exposure is recommended by as a foundational practice for optimal physical and mental health 4 6 7.


Could you explain women’s hormonal changes during pregnancy and postpartum?


During and after pregnancy, women experience significant hormonal changes, including increases in prolactin. and discuss how this hormone is involved in both men and women when expecting a child and is linked to a phenomenon called brooding, similar to that seen in birds. Prolactin increases and is involved in laying down body fat and preparing for the demanding period around childbirth, such as sleepless nights. It also helps suppress sexual activity during times when it's not advantageous, like immediately near childbirth 1.

After giving birth, women will experience a spike in prolactin right after breastfeeding, which is not conducive to sexual activity due to decreased dopamine and increased prolactin. This hormone also increases significantly to help with milk letdown during breastfeeding. Despite prolactin's association with reductions in sexual activity and alterations in body fat, it serves important roles, such as enhancing the nesting instinct and supporting breastfeeding. Moreover, prolactin is critical for the development of an infant’s lungs and can impact the child's risk for respiratory distress if levels are too low during pregnancy 1.

Therefore, understanding these hormonal changes is crucial for anticipating and adapting to the transitions during pregnancy and postpartum, as well as recognizing their importance for the health of both the mother and the infant.

Hormonal Changes

Andrew and Kyle discuss the impact of prolactin on hormonal changes during and after pregnancy. They explore how prolactin can impact sexual activity and the "nesting instinct" in both men and women. While prolactin is often associated with negative side effects, it is also vital for the health of infants and mothers.

Huberman Lab

Dr. Kyle Gillett: How to Optimize Your Hormones for Health & Vitality | Huberman Lab Podcast #67