Need a Good Night's Rest? Go Outside

Studies show that sunlight affects sleeping habits

Flickr/Jabiz Raisdana

There’s nothing quite like hitting the sack after a long day out in the crazy world. But, going to bed comfortably, and sleepy is not quite as easy for some of us. Today, so many people depend on sleeping pills and remedies to help them get to bed. Not to mention, that many of us are lucky to even get 6 hours of sleep, let alone the recommended 7-9 hours by the National Sleep Foundation.

Related: The Health Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep

But what if there was an easy solution to getting a better night’s rest, without the potential dangers of taking sleeping medications? Well, the answer is shining right outside your window. Studies show that getting more sunlight could be the cure for your insomnia.

The reason that sunlight is so important to your body’s ability to sleep, is that exposing it to sunlight, and then darkness enables proper circadian rhythms. The circadian rhythm keeps your body in sync and therefore willing to sleep when it needs it. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences explains that the body’s master clock, or SCN controls your production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy.

The production of melatonin, enabling you to sleep better, is incredibly important, because, well, a good night sleep is important. Sleep regulates our appetites, metabolisms, energy levels and more. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states that one of the most important tips for getting a good night’s sleep is to sleep until sunlight, “If possible, wake up with the sun, or use very bright lights in the morning. Sunlight helps the body's internal biological clock reset itself each day. Sleep experts recommend exposure to an hour of morning sunlight for people having problems falling asleep.”

Getting outside has many benefits. The fresh air, inspiring nature, and the calming surroundings, and sunshine is one of the most important. Especially now, as the temperature decreases and we are more willing to hide under the covers with the TV on, it is critical to get outside and expose yourself to the sunlight.

Click here for more health benefits of sunshine


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