This week we delve into Gary Brecka’s #2 longevity tip: embrace the first light of the day. Those initial 45 minutes, often referred to as “first light,” bring a unique gift from God. This special sunlight, devoid of UVA and UVB rays, serves as a gentle elixir for our well-being, playing a pivotal role in the synthesis of vitamin D3 without the damaging effects of sun exposure. Beyond its role in vitamin production, first light boasts a positive impact on cortisol levels, helping regulate energy and stress, and stands as the optimal means to reset our circadian rhythm. Let’s take a deeper look into more of the benefits:
Mood Enhancement and Stress Reduction:
Exposure to natural light, particularly in the morning, has a direct impact on mood regulation. Sunlight stimulates the production of serotonin, often referred to as the “feel-good” hormone. Increased serotonin levels are associated with improved mood, reduced anxiety, and a general sense of well-being. Additionally, sunlight triggers the release of endorphins, further contributing to stress reduction and a positive mental state.
Vitamin D Synthesis:
One of the most vital benefits of morning sunlight is the synthesis of vitamin D in the skin. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in bone health, immune system function, and overall well-being. Exposure to sunlight prompts the skin to produce vitamin D, which is essential for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body. Adequate vitamin D levels are linked to a lower risk of various chronic diseases, including osteoporosis and certain types of cancer.
Regulation of Circadian Rhythms:
Sunlight exposure in the morning helps regulate circadian rhythms, the internal biological clocks that influence sleep-wake cycles. Exposure to natural light, especially during the early hours of the day, helps synchronize the body’s internal clock with the external environment. This synchronization promotes better sleep quality, increased alertness during the day, and a more balanced and consistent sleep-wake pattern.
Improved Cognitive Function:
Studies have shown that exposure to natural light positively impacts cognitive function. Morning sunlight, in particular, has been linked to improved concentration, faster reaction times, and better overall cognitive performance. The influence of sunlight on cognitive function is thought to be mediated by its effects on the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.
Boosted Energy Levels:
Sunlight exposure stimulates the production of cortisol, a hormone that helps regulate energy and alertness. Morning sunlight, in particular, helps set the body’s natural cortisol rhythm, contributing to increased energy levels throughout the day. This natural energy boost can enhance productivity, focus, and overall vitality.
Enhanced Sleep Quality:
Exposure to morning sunlight can positively impact sleep quality by helping to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. The natural light exposure during the day helps signal to the body that it’s daytime, reinforcing the importance of being awake and alert. This, in turn, contributes to a more restful and rejuvenating sleep at night.