Harnessing the Power of Sunlight for Mind-Body Healing

In our fast-paced world, we often overlook the simple yet profound benefits of aligning with nature's rhythms. One such rhythm is the circadian rhythm, our body's internal clock that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. Harnessing the power of sunlight at specific times of the day can significantly impact our overall well-being.

Circadian Rhythm and Sunlight
Our bodies operate on a 24-hour cycle known as the circadian rhythm, which is primarily influenced by light and darkness. This internal clock plays a critical role in determining our sleep patterns, feeding behavior, hormone release, and other bodily functions. Proper sunlight exposure is crucial in synchronizing this internal biological clock.

DAGDKwmeq6ISunrise and Morning Sunlight:
At sunrise, the natural light is composed of red and near-infrared light that has the same power density range as most red light therapy studies- you can get a healing dose of red light just by spending a few minutes outside at sunrise. At this time there is also the perfect amount of blue light, which is particularly effective at signaling the start of the day and getting your daytime cellular processes started. When this light enters our eyes, it stimulates the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) – the brain's timekeeper located in the hypothalamus. The SCN then sends signals to various parts of the body to increase body temperature, boost production of the hormone cortisol, and suppress the secretion of melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy, and that it is time to synthesize melatonin for that night. This process effectively resets our circadian rhythms each day, promoting alertness and readiness for the day’s activities.


Sunlight During the Day:
Continued exposure to natural light throughout the day helps maintain a healthy level of cortisol, which supports our energy and alertness levels. Daylight exposure is also vital for maintaining our mood and focus. Studies have shown that an office environment with more natural light can improve productivity and reduce feelings of stress. When we spend too much time under artificial lighting and on screens our body is bombarded with blue light (missing the other wave lengths) and confuses our body. Getting sunlight during the day also optimizes your Vitamin D levels that has been found to play a huge role in your overall health. 

DAGDKwRcLmsSunset and Evening Light:
As the day transitions into evening and the sun sets, the decreasing intensity and shifting spectrum of light (more reds and oranges, less blue light) signal to the body that it's time to wind down. This light change stimulates the SCN to initiate the secretion of melatonin, preparing our body for sleep. Exposure to the warm hues of sunset helps ease the transition into the body's night-time processes, which include repairing cells and consolidating memories, vital for overall health and well-being. This is also when we want to make sure we are turning down the overhead lights in our home and decreasing our use of screens and/or using blue-block glasses or filters. 

Optimizing Circadian Rhythm for mind-body healing:
Aligning our daily routines with the natural cycle of the sun is key to optimizing our circadian rhythms. Rising with the sunrise and going to bed after sunset between 9-11 pm can foster a harmonious alignment, resulting in improved sleep quality, enhanced health, and heightened vitality. In essence, regular exposure to sunlight at strategic intervals throughout the day not only invigorates us and uplifts our mood but also fundamentally synchronizes our biological processes, ensuring our bodies function in harmony with nature's design.

Every month I host a 7-Day Energy Kickstarter Challenge where we put into practice Circadian Rhythm actions. 

I have found affirmations help me to affirm what actions I want to create in my daily habits: "My mind and body deserve a restful night's sleep." Is an affirmation that guides my morning rituals and evening routines, emphasizing the importance of honoring our circadian rhythm throughout the day.

By embracing sunlight at sunrise, during daylight hours, and at sunset, we synchronize our body's internal clock with the natural rhythms of the environment. This straightforward yet profound practice nurtures our overall health and vitality, laying the groundwork for holistic healing and exceptional health.

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