In my 37 years of chiropractic practice, I can’t tell you how many people have told me that, for no specific reason, they sleep poorly. This is unfortunate because adequate sleep is extremely important for our health. There are natural, safe ways to improve one’s sleep. This article will discuss a helpful method to obtain proper sleep and be fully rested.
For many of us, we are inside of our homes, schools and places of work in the morning, and we don’t get outside, in natural sunlight, until the afternoon. The concept of morning sunlight exposure may be foreign to us. I’d like to propose that we explore the possibility of obtaining outside sunlight exposure before noon.
If possible, try getting outside for 15-30 minutes earlier in the day or at least before noon. Keep in mind that while indoor light is helpful for vision it is not the same as full spectrum outdoor sunlight.
When outdoor sunlight enters the human eyeball, it activates receptors that sends stimulating nerve input to the brain. The brain then sends signals to all the individual trillions of body cells by a process called photobiomodulation.
Photobiomodulation essentially tells the body what time of the day it is. Human beings are diurnal creatures. Diurnal means that we would normally sleep at night when it’s dark and be up and about doing our business during daylight. However, we must use the light of the sun and the darkness of the night to direct proper diurnal rhythms. If we don’t establish these normal rhythms, we are less likely to obtain proper, natural, restorative sleep.
By getting outdoors earlier in the day we develop better cycles of being active during daylight hours and having a better outcome for sleeping well at nighttime. Even on a cloudy day, outdoor light delivers adequate full spectrum stimulation to our brain, provided we get that sunlight exposure earlier in the day.
It’s not very difficult to arrange our schedules to commit to a lifestyle of getting some morning sunlight. For instance, a person at home might do some outdoor yardwork earlier in the day rather than in the afternoon. A person living in a condo or an apartment need only take a walk for exercise before noon. Younger children living at home would certainly get a better nights sleep if they were encouraged to play outside earlier in the day versus later.
Those who work inside buildings could arrange to park their car or take their mass transit a little bit earlier in the day and walk outside for 15 to 20 minutes to get their early morning sunlight exposure.
School-age children getting outside for recess in the morning will be in good shape to get their early sunlight. Older children, who don’t have recess, might simply walk to school if it’s close enough or go to the bus stop a bit earlier for their outdoor daylight benefit.
It may take several weeks of practicing what I’m suggesting here to establish a normal diurnal rhythm and get into a normal pattern of sleeping well. When the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep are obtained it will have far reaching effects on improving many aspects of our health and lives.