Want an instant mood and energy boost? Ditch the caffeine and sunglasses and step outside!
Suprachiasmatic Nucleus. Mouthful eh? More like an eyeful
Bare with me….Today is a ridiculously gorgeous day – bright sunlight, lil breeze, lil heat, generally glorious!
What do you notice on a particularly sunny day if your out and about? Pretty much everyone has shades on? – gotta get wear out of them for the 2-3 days a year we can in Ireland right?
You’d think thats a smart idea, given its so sunny/bright out right ?? Not so much actually, theres an exception and i’ll cover that later in this piece .
**Disclaimer…. I’m not telling you to stare directly at the sun…thats dumb**
But blocking light , particular to our eyes is a poor choice.
That lil fella I mentioned at the start, the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus we’ll shorten it to S.C.N for ease on the tongue
Well he’s responsible for keeping us in check over a 24 hour period other wise known as a circadian rhythm (in Latin: circa = around and diem = day).
Its situated at the back of our heads, and daylight is incredibly important, for this fella, we need to receive information on when its day time and night time.
This can have a direct impact on many other factors too, mood being the main one I’d encourage you to look at.
When we hear of Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) it is often triggered in the winter, darker months, shorter days, less light exposure, you may often hear about Light exposure , or SAD lamps being used as the first intervention to off set this in an individual. Getting exposed directly through the eye is essential!
So when I saw everyone out today blocking the sun, I couldn’t help but think of the huge benefits they were bypassing here due to wearing shades !!
Daily my first two goals are 1 Hydration and 2 Direct Sunlight, 15-20 minutes where possible to allow my SCN get its lil fix , telling my body its morning time and also GO time!! This will have a far greater “wake up” effect than caffeine.
Plus it has an incredible effect on mood and energy for the rest of the day.
If you’ve noticed the midday slump, maybe is a sunlight/daylight issue, and not a coffee deficiency.
Ideally we get 1 hour of daylight time outdoors daily, this is why im a BIG proponent on doing cardio outside and chasing Vit N:
- You are getting some aerobic work done
- Fresh air
Its a triple dose to super charge energy for the rest of the day.
I mentioned theres an exception to the rule above on daily light exposure and wearing glasses, this is when you guys who are working nights are coming out into daylight and trying to get home for a sleep.
For you guys, wearing some pretty dark glasses is a damn good idea, much like the blue light blockers you’ll see me wearing at night time, I’m giving signals to my body that its sundown, low light exposure, and its time to go into sleep mode,
Getting that hit of sunlight when you are en route to bed isn’t a wise idea, so covering up here is key, when trying to trick your circadian rhythm that its night time for you and easing your self into an easier slumber
If you work in an office that has poor lighting, id highly recommend getting a lux lamp for your desk, if you have a buddy, friend or family member who may be affected by SAD , its a fantastic present to gift here too!
Don’t underestimate the power this will have to your daily energy, sleep patters, recovery, mood and general well being both physical and mental.