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I’m a great believer in doing everything within your power to ensure a great night’s sleep. It’s the foundation for all other health and weight loss goals you wish to achieve.

To this end I stumbled upon some great research on how daylight (how mush you get of it) affects the quality of your sleep later that night.

I’m sharing the links to each of these studies with my summary of the key findings:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/28526259/

The above study carried out for the USA’s public sector workplaces found that staff who got more bright light during the day fell asleep faster at night and slept for longer than those who got less light and greater daylight exposure was associated with lower scores on a self-rated scale of depression.

https://www.rug.nl/research/portal/publications/linking-light-exposure-and-subsequent-sleep(02510c00-53f6-400b-883a-e91de11f2b28).html

The preceding study demonstrated that increased daylight exposure was found to be associated with less fragmented sleep and more deep sleep.

https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/477093

This 2017 German study suggested that exposure to bright light in the morning boosted people’s reaction speeds and maintained them at a higher level throughout the day – even after the bright light had been switched off. It also prevented the detrimental effects (in terms of sleep) of being exposed to blue light in the evening (from mobile phones, computer screens, TV screens etc).

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1477153512455940?journalCode=lrtd&

The above study concluded that hospital patients recover faster when they have greater access to daylight. The average length of stay for people recovering from heart surgery was reduced by 7.3 hours for every 100 lux increase in daytime illuminance.

In Summary:

  • As a basic principle, we should all be striving to brighten our days and darken our nights.
  • The most important period we should focus on getting out into the daylight is first thing in the morning but we should also strive to get out at lunch and several other times during the day (and even on overcast days)

We evolved on a planet with a 24-hour cycle of darkness and light. It is time to reconnect with those extremes!