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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kathleen Jones

The First Thing You Should Do In The AM

The first thing you can do in the morning to help your mood, sleep and concentration is easy, costs nothing and may also improve your immune system as well.

What is it? Get out and look at the morning sun! It is as important as exercising, drinking water, eating well and getting enough sleep, says a neuroscientist. Being in the sun helps reset our body clock, impacts our hormones, immune system and helps us think more clearly.

Get up and out as soon as you can. Take a walk, sit out with a cup of coffee, spend 5-10 minutes at least, without sunglasses, with the sun in your face(glasses and contacts are OK) It helps release cortisol which improves your focus, mood, sleep, clarity, metabolism and energy for the day. Even if cloudy you can get the effects if you stay out 15-20 minutes.

If you cannot get outside, or if it's too cold, then turn on all the lights and brighten up the room you are in when you get up. You need to tell your brain that you are up and awake. Put your chair or desk by a window.

Also, try to get out later in the afternoon and be in the sun for a few minutes too. When the sun is lower in the sky the colors of yellow and orange help tell the brain that evening is coming and it reduces cortisol, which helps you sleep at bedtime.

Along those lines, in the evening, turn down the lights, that helps keep your cortisol low and improves sleep. Reduce blue light and turn down phone and computer lights at night and try to be as dark as possible after 10 PM

I do a lot of blood tests and what I see more then anything is low levels of Vit D in most people. Vit D is critical in most functions of the body and has been proven to help fight Covid. The reason is that most people do not get enough sunlight. We cover up or cover ourselves with sunscreen so our exposure to sun is very limited.

Getting some sunlight each day needs to be added to the list of the things we do to stay young and healthy. Along with exercise, sleep, healthy food, healthy relationships and good water, we need to add daily doses of light!


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