10+ mins of direct sunlight, ideally in the morning.
This habit is about getting some sunlight during the day to so that you can get better sleep at night.
Sunlight plays a very important role in regulating our internal sleep-wake clock called the Circadian rhythm.
According to SleepFoundation.org, “Light is the most important external factor affecting sleep.“
Research has shown that morning sunlight induces sleep earlier in the day, improves the quality and duration of sleep, and even provides an antidepressant effect.
- 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.
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.
We recommend trying to get at least 10 minutes of natural sunlight during the day – ideally in the morning or earlier during the day if possible.
Go for a walk, have your breakfast/coffee/lunch outside, call a friend, journal, etc.
Even if the weather is overcast, that’s OK, there is enough sunlight and brightness to help.
✅ Habit Trigger: See if you can combine the habit of getting some sunshine with something else that already happens in your day, like drinking a cup of coffee – drink it outside if you can.
✅ Breakfast Al Fresco: Instead of eating breakfast indoors, move it outside. Over time, this will become a habit you look forward to.
✅ Daily Sunshine Alarm: Set a recurring alarm on your phone for a mid-morning sunlight break. Label it something motivating, like “Soak the Sun!” or “Vitamin D Time!”
✅ Start Small: If 10 minutes feels daunting, start with 2 minutes. Gradually increase the time as the habit solidifies.
✅ Immediate Feedback: Take a moment after your sunlight session to reflect on how you feel. More alert? Mood uplifted? Recognizing these immediate benefits will reinforce the habit.