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Morning Light - For Health’s Sake, Better Bask In It


Morning light refers to the natural light that occurs during the early hours of the day, typically shortly after sunrise.

This light is characterized by its soft, warm glow, which can vary in intensity and color depending on a range of factors such as weather conditions and geographic location.

The morning light has been studied for its impact on human health and wellbeing.

Additionally, morning light is often prized by photographers for its soft, flattering quality. Moreover, it has been a source of inspiration for artists and writers throughout history.

What beauty, not to mention, health benefits, can people get from morning light?

COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/morning-light/ by Karan Emery on 2023-03-30T04:23:23.750Z

What a lack of sunlight really does to our brains - BBC REEL

Morning Light Meaning

Morning light refers to the light that is present during the early hours of the day, typically from sunrise until mid-morning.

This type of light is known for its soft, warm glow that can make the environment appear peaceful and serene.

It is often characterized by its golden color and long shadows, as the sun is still low on the horizon.

Morning light has significant importance in various aspects of life, such as in the following fields:

  • photography
  • art
  • literature

Photographers and artists often use morning light to create beautiful and captivating images. It can enhance the colors and textures of the subject and create interesting shadows and highlights.

Morning light seeping through trees and leaves in a forest
Morning light seeping through trees and leaves in a forest

In literature, morning light is often used to symbolize:

  • new beginnings
  • hope
  • optimism

It represents a fresh start and a new day, full of possibilities.

It is also associated with tranquility, peace, and calmness, making it a common motif in poems, novels, and other forms of literature.

In addition to its aesthetic and symbolic value, morning light has several practical benefits as well.

In an interview with BBC for a 2022 video tackling the importance of morning light, British geneticist John Stephen “Steve” Jones, said:

Sunlight is a powerful stuff. Perhaps more powerful than most people realize. The perils of living without sunlight are quite real. In winter, we often feel somewhat out of sorts at this time of the year.

- John Stephen “Steve” Jones

Exposure to natural morning light can help regulate our body’s circadian rhythm and improve our overall sleep quality.

It can also boost our mood and energy levels, making us feel more alert and focused throughout the day.

What Does The Morning Light Represent?

The morning light can represent various things depending on cultural, social, and personal contexts.

Here are a few examples:

a. Renewal and Rejuvenation

For many people, the morning light represents the start of a new day and the opportunity for a fresh start.

The warmth and brightness of the sunlight can bring a sense of hope and positivity. It can inspire people to set new goals and make positive changes in their lives.

b. Awakening and Awareness

The morning light can also symbolize a moment of awakening and heightened awareness.

As the darkness fades away and the world slowly comes to life, people may feel more alert and attuned to their surroundings.

c. Promise and Possibility

It can be a time of great potential and opportunity. It could signify a moment to seize the day and make the most of the time ahead.

d. Hope and Faith

In some spiritual or religious contexts, the morning light may represent hope and faith.

It can be seen as a reminder of the promise of a new dawn and the possibility of a better future.

The morning light can represent different things to different people, but it generally conveys a sense of:

  • positivity
  • energy
  • potential
A long-haired blonde woman seated by an open glass window and basking in morning light
A long-haired blonde woman seated by an open glass window and basking in morning light

Morning Light Benefits

Sunlight exposure or morning light has a range of potential health benefits.

Steve Jones, who turned 79 this year and is an emeritus professor of Human Genetics at University College London (UCL), also shared this piece of information with BBC:

A lack of sunlight means your immune system doesn’t work well; your defense mechanism don’t work well.

- John Stephen “Steve” Jones

Some of the main benefits of basking in sunlight include:

1. Increased vitamin D production

Sunlight exposure is the primary source of vitamin D, which is essential for healthy:

  • bones
  • teeth
  • immune system function

2. Improved mood

Exposure to sunlight can help improve mood by increasing the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and promotes feelings of well-being.

4. Lower blood pressure

Exposure to natural light has been shown to lower blood pressure, which can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (e.g., heart failure, hypertension, stroke).

5. Improved cognitive function

Sunlight exposure has been linked to improved cognitive function, including better memory and concentration.

6. Improved skin health

Moderate exposure to sunlight can help improve skin health by increasing blood flow and promoting the production of vitamin D.

7. Improved circadian rhythm

Exposure to natural light, especially in the morning, helps regulate the body’s internal clock, which controls sleep-wake cycles and other physiological processes.

Circadian biologist and STEM entrepreneur Aarti Jagannath cited in the said BBC video some of the effects of lack of morning light:

  • “an effect on mood”
  • “increased depression”
  • “more metabolic disorders”

Jagannath, an associate professor in Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, added that collectively:

All of these things [the effects] are offshoots of a disrupted circadian clock.

- Aarti Jagannath

However, it’s important to note that excessive sun exposure can increase the risk of skin damage and skin cancer.

Therefore, it’s essential to practice safe sun habits, such as wearing sunscreen and protective clothing, and avoiding the sun during peak hours of the day.

The Sun's Benefits Are Way More than Vitamin D

Circadian Rhythm In Humans

Circadian rhythm is a natural physiological process that regulates various bodily functions and behavioral patterns in living organisms, including humans.

It refers to the approximately 24-hour cycle that governs the body’s internal clock or biological clock.

A group of neurons called suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) - located in the hypothalamus of the brain - control this internal/biological clock.

When talking about circadian rhythm in humans, here’s basically how things work:

a. The eyes detect light.

b. Then the SCN receives input from the eyes.

c. The SCN uses this information to synchronize the body’s internal clock with the external environment.

d. The SCN then sends signals to other parts of the brain and body to regulate various physiological functions.

Strategies for maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm include exposure to natural light or morning light.

In humans, circadian rhythm plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes such as:

  • metabolism
  • sleep-wake cycles
  • body temperature
  • hormone production
  • immune system function

Understanding and maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm is essential for optimal health and well-being; so better get your daily dose of morning light.

What Happens When Circadian Rhythms Are Disrupted?

Disruptions to the circadian rhythm can be caused by:

  • shift work
  • jet lag
  • sleep disorders

Such disruptions can have negative effects on health, including increased risk of:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • certain types of cancer
  • diabetes
  • metabolic disorders
  • obesity

So, avoid stimulants such as caffeine before bedtime, and get plenty of morning light.

Natural light peering through a glass as three seated men and other people are having a meeting
Natural light peering through a glass as three seated men and other people are having a meeting

People Also Ask

Is Sunrise And Sunset Light The Same?

Sunrise and sunset light can be similar in some ways, but they are not exactly the same.

At both sunrise and sunset, the sun is low on the horizon, which causes the light to appear warmer and more golden in color compared to the light during the middle of the day.

As for the difference, at sunrise, the light tends to be cooler and bluer, while at sunset it is warmer and more orange or red.

How Many Hours Of Sunlight Is Too Much?

The amount of sunlight that is considered “too much” can vary depending on a variety of factors, including:

  • an individual’s skin type
  • location
  • time of day

In general, it’s recommended to limit sun exposure during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest.

The American Cancer Society recommends wearing protective clothing and seeking shade during these hours.

What Happens When You’re In The Sun Too Long?

Spending too much time in the sun can lead to a variety of negative effects on your skin and overall health.

Prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to the following:

  • sunburn (red, painful skin that peels and blisters)
  • heat exhaustion (symptoms: dizziness, nausea, headaches)
  • heatstroke (more severe form of heat exhaustion; symptoms: confusion, rapid heart rate, loss of consciousness)
  • premature aging (wrinkles, fine lines, age spots)
  • skin cancer

Note: Repeated sunburns, particularly during childhood, increase the risk of developing skin cancer later in life.

Final Thoughts

Morning light is a beautiful and meaningful aspect of our daily lives.

Its gentle and calming presence can help us start our day on a positive note, and its many benefits can improve our well-being.

It even has captured the attention of many people for its beauty and health benefits.

Overall, morning light is a fascinating natural phenomenon that plays an important role in our daily lives.

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About The Authors

Karan Emery

Karan Emery - I'm a research scientist interested in learning more about how neural activity influences and shapes human behavior. Project design and management, data analysis and interpretation, and the creation and implementation of testing tools are among my specialties. I enjoy coming up with new ideas and coming up with practical solutions to issues that are widely applicable. My colleagues would describe me as a driven, resourceful individual who maintains a positive, proactive attitude when faced with adversity. Currently, I’m seeking opportunities that will allow me to develop and promote technologies that benefit human health. Specific fields of interest include data analytics, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals.

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