How Sunlight Can Improve Your Sleep 

How Sunlight Can Improve Your Sleep 

Everyone knows that sleep is crucial to one’s mental and physical health. Continually, sleep is important for supporting brain functionality and helping to maintain your overall mental health. In supporting your growth and development, sleep can reduce stress, avoid sickness, and help an individual to maintain a healthy weight. Recent studies show that early morning light exposure can improve your sleep for a variety of different reasons. That is why in today’s blog I will be discussing exactly how sunlight can positively affect your sleep. As usual, if you read this blog, implement these practices into your own life, or want to share your health and fitness journey with us please follow and tag us on our social media platforms. You can find us on Facebook by searching UW-Whitewater Rec Sports or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @RecSports_UWW. 

Effects of Sunlight on Your Quality of Sleep: 

● Alertness 

○ It is proven that being in the dark allows the brain to relax and therefore fall asleep easier. Therefore, opening your blinds within the first 15-30 minutes of being awake helps your body wake up and stay alert during the daytime. Research proves that people who let natural light into their houses and apartments during the daytime fall asleep 22 minutes faster than those who do not. They were also proven to feel happier and alert during the day. You can’t argue with those statistics! 

● Circadian Rhythm 

○ A circadian rhythm is a natural process that regulates an individual’s sleep and wake cycle. The effects of morning sunlight advances your internal clock and delays your clock at night. This means that an individual will be able to fall asleep quicker than usual when exposed to early sunlight.

● Suppress Melatonin Production 

○ The bright light during the early morning hours of 8am-10am tells your body to suppress melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone in your brain that is produced in response to darkness; it aids in getting proper sleep. Simultaneously, an increase in serotonin and cortisol production will help an individual’s body fall asleep more easily during the evening hours. For more information on melatonin production click here

As we all know, sleep is valuable to our physical and mental health. Therefore, making the simple change of taking in the morning sunlight when you wake up can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. So, open your blinds and let the light in! And, as always… 

Do not get discouraged, 

Cora Shircel