At the end of the day, hormones are linked to your body’s internal clock, and our body is linked to the ☀️ SUN ☀️
Simply put, hormonal rhythms are your body’s internal clock. They’re why you feel like you do at various times of the day: alert, motivated and energetic in the morning, relaxed and ready for bed by night.
Almost all life on Earth uses an internal biological clock to anticipate the profound changes resulting from its rotation upon its axis. Physiology and behaviour are ‘fine-tuned’ to the varied, yet predictably release hormones like clockwork, including health levels of cortisol, testosterone, DHEA and melatonin for sleep.
For example, cortisol and testosterone levels are high in the morning, allowing us to wake up alert and energetic. Cortisol levels then drop during the afternoon and evening, allowing us to relax and sleep well at night.
However, cortisol can be “late shifted” and cause poor sleep, fatigue, brain fog and irritability.
What’s worse is that over time being late shifted will significantly lower testosterone until you get back into “circadian rhythm”.
Getting optimal levels of sunlight early in the morning is needed to set your circadian rhythm. When you do hormones can build top healthy levels. When your hormones are flowing consistently you will consistently build muscle, stay motivated and get deep restorative sleep.
Scientists call this circadian entrainment by light. The sun is another key part of a healthy energetic mind and body.
Here are the consequences of sleep and circadian rhythm disruption on our emotional, cognitive and physiological health are summarised in the picture. 1
If you get 10 minutes of sunlight in the morning 1 hour after waking, you’re a long step in the right direction. Scientists say it’s as simple as getting enough sunlight each morning. Be careful to not look directly at the sun, just being outside is enough.
Sun exposure times and overview:
- 10 minutes on a sunny day
- 15 to 20 minutes on an overcast day
- 30 to 40 minutes on a rainy day
- 30 to 40 minutes with light therapy
I use light therapy in the winter to “hack” the system or on a day when going outside isn’t an option.
Here are two devices I use
Light therapy glasses. Link to Amazon
Or a light therapy lamp as below. Link to Amazon.
1. Foster R. Fundamentals of circadian entrainment by light. Lighting Research & Technology. 2021;53(5):377-393. doi:10.1177/14771535211014792