🎯 Today’s Mission:
To successfully complete today’s mission:
- ✅ Deliberately spend at least 5 minutes outside today getting some natural sunlight. The earlier in the day the better.
- ✅ [OPTIONAL] Share with us, in the Sleekgeek Sleep Challenge Support Group, when / where / how you got some sunlight. Bonus points for a selfie.
- ✅ Complete the form at the bottom of the page when done.
💡 More Info:
As you know by now (from Day 5) melatonin plays a very important role in regulating our internal sleep-wake clock called the Circadian rhythm.
In fact, SleepFoundation.org says “Light is the most important external factor affecting sleep.“
We can summarise light’s affect on us as:
- Bright light during the DAY = more awake during the day and better sleep at night.
- Bright light at NIGHT = worse sleep at night and less awake during the day.
☀️ Catch Some Rays:
So while you’re working on avoiding bright light and electronic screens at night before bed, you can also help regulate your body’s internal sleep-wake cycle by getting some natural sunlight during the day.
Ideally in the morning if possible, but anytime during the day also helps.
The more natural sunlight that you can get during the day (even if it’s only for 5-10 minutes at a time) the better your body will know to gear down at your normal sleeping time at night.
This is backed up by research that shows:
- ✅ Morning sunlight was found to induce sleep earlier in the day, improve its quality and duration, and even provide an antidepressant effect.
- ❌ Evening and night exposure to artificial light can delay sleep onset and increase levels of alertness.
Another study has also shown that office workers receiving high levels of light in the morning experienced reduced sleep onset latency (especially in winter), increased phasor magnitudes (a measure of circadian entrainment), and increased sleep quality. High levels of circadian-effective light during the entire day are also associated with increased phasor magnitudes, reduced depression, and increased sleep quality.
Even if it’s not a sunny day, getting outdoors and exposing yourself to natural light during the day will help contribute to a better night’s sleep.
If you’re unable to get outdoors during the day or there is very little sunlight where you live, you can also look into various light therapy devices (there are even some alarm clocks that wake you up with artificial light).
⚕️ Other benefits of sunlight:
While one of course needs to be careful of getting too much sunlight, there are also many other benefits to getting enough sunlight on a daily and weekly basis.
- Sunlight cues special areas in the retina, which triggers the release of serotonin and is one of the main treatments for seasonal depression.
- Sunlight helps your skin create Vitamin D which plays a big role in bone health, cognition, and immune function.
- Sunlight in moderate amounts actually has preventative benefits when it comes to some specific types of cancer.
- Sunlight might help treat several skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, jaundice, and acne.
✅ Mission Accomplished?
Fill in the form below once you’re done to keep track of your progress.