Here is why I prioritize morning sunlight

By Carrie Bennett

I prioritize morning sunlight for very specific reasons.

1) Sunrise sets the circadian rhythm via the blend/intensity of red and blue light frequencies and communicates to my SCN (master clock in the brain) exactly the time of day. My SCN oscillates this message to every cell so they can sync up all their tasks. A strong circadian rhythm is needed for the body to determine energy usage AKA burn fat for fuel. Without the circadian activation of BMAL, cells have inhibited lipolysis (fat-burning capabilities).

2) Morning light is heavy in red/infrared so it acts as natural red light therapy. This is a great time to expose areas of the body that are inflamed and also a great time to precondition the skin to better handle the more intense UV rays coming soon.

3) The perfect blend of red/blue at sunrise also “turns on” my hypothalamus-pituitary axis to regulate hormone production. It decreases melatonin while boosting cortisol and pregnenolone, which my body partitions based on whether my mitochondria think I need to fight or flee or make a baby.

4) UVA appears (typically) within the first two hours (check out the dashboard in Circadian to see when exactly for your location). UVA photons into naked eyes get trapped in the aromatic amino acids and energize them to transform into subsequent chemicals:

    • tyrosine/phenylalanine becomes dopamine, norepinephrine, thyroid hormones and more
    • tryptophan becomes serotonin (which eventually becomes melatonin)
    • histidine becomes histamine and urocanic acid so I can be better prepared for stronger UV light

UVA on the skin also stimulates nitric oxide (NO) production, which causes vasodilation of the blood vessels. Basically, NO brings blood to the surface of the skin so we can absorb more light. So cool.

5) Another brain chemical made up of 241 amino acids called proopiomelanocortin (POMC) interacts with UVA light and can become a wide range of chemicals, such as

    • beta-endorphin (which boosts my mood, lowers pain and makes me crave sunlight),
    • ACTH (which lowers inflammation) and
    • other chemicals that regulate mood, libido, appetite, fat burning, etc.

I hope you can see why I do everything I can to get as much morning sunlight exposure into my eyes and onto my skin as possible.

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