Did you know, the longer you are outside, the natural light of the sun (dawn and dusk included) helps set and balance your sleep rhythms with the Earth? It does! It helps your circadian rhythm realize what your sleep cycle should look like according to the Earth’s rhythms. Our species has evolved in direct relationship with this rhythm from the beginning of humanity; it makes sense that getting in touch with Her (literally!) would help our body remember when to reset and rest and when to wake up and Live!
Be honest, when is the last time you spent an entire day outside? Like a 12 hour day, nonstop. Something I notice is when we go camping, I not only sleep earlier and better while we are in the tent, I also maintain that earlier and better sleep for a week or so after. That is one of the countless reasons I love camping. And one of the best parts about that is, there’s plenty of science to back up why my experience with better sleep happens.
Dr. David & Austin Perlmutter’s recent book Brainwash recommends ONE 12-hour day outside per week to manitain not only sleep cycles, but overall health (especially for the brain) and well being (mind).
If you’re in the US, it is summer here so now is a great time to give this a try!
Another great book “Why We Sleep?” by Matthew Walker, gives a separate and similar tool.
On the other 6 days a week (or all 7 if you can’t quite get that 12-hour day in) get outside for 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening minimum. I’ve tried this and it has been the fastest thing to regulate my sleep (along with avoiding blue light within the hours before bed!)
Also, there’s a bonus if you have small kids. They are already pretty in tune with these rhythms, since their brains are still hugely developing and they are so new to our brain-assaulting ways of life. Even if we didn’t quite make the full hour, the trips outside am/pm make a HUGE difference in their overall regulation–especially when we’re consistent (which isn’t always the case). This just becomes another go-to when I start seeing dysregulation in them!
The wavelengths of light provided by the sun are medicinal, energizing and nutritional for our bodies, minds and spirits. Lack of sunlight accounts for much of the sickness in our modern-day world. From chronic conditions to mental health–many of our ails can be greatly healed by increasing our sun exposure and time outside. Get out there!