What is the first thing you do when you wake up? Shut off the alarm and then what?
Screen light before sunlight
How many of us wake up first thing in the morning and grab the phone off the night stand while still in bed? Maybe you check your email or the latest notification you received from social media. This creates a dopamine rush. In other words we are immediately being stimulated and taking in other information which our brain likes. It likes it so much it now becomes harder to get out of bed and get your day started.
Think about someone waking you up and immediately giving you some information or tell a story about something that happened. If this was real life, or if you have a toddler I’m sure this happens frequently. You may get pretty frustrated. You may even have the thought, “It is way to early for this”. And you would be right!
10-20 minutes of morning sunlight can help decrease symptoms of depression. If you are someone who struggles with daylight savings or it being darker earlier, this is extremely beneficial. Morning sunlight also helps us sleep better the following night. We get the signal to our bodies that it is time to be awake. This then starts the circadian rhythm clock to create melatonin later in the day.
What if I get up before the sun?
Some of you I know are early risers. If the sun is not out yet, make your house bright! Turn on the overhead lights instead of just lamps. You can also purchase a sunlight lamp for anywhere between $20-$60. Click here to check it out. When the sun does come out, then head outside for those 10-20 minutes. When the sun does come up, head out there for your 10-20 minutes.
I have done the “no phone thing” in the mornings for the last 3-4 years and it truly is remarkable. In that moment of picking up your phone in the mornings you don’t immediately feel the anxiety. This does, however, set you up for feeling it later in the day. If later in the day you have trouble focusing or are more irritable or stressed out, I highly recommend sunlight!
If you have questions about why sunlight is important or how you can add it into your routine click here to set up a time to chat.