If you’re side-eyeing this article right now, we get it. Waking up at dawn? Are we serious? Yes, we are! You may be familiar with rising early if you’ve ever had a child… and you may not have the fondest memories of how messed up your sleep was at that time.
But waking up with the sun has a ton of really great benefits, the least of which is that the sunrise is a pretty nice view. Read on for the top five benefits of rising at dawn.
1. Boost in Vitamin D
Although we are all aware of the harmful effects of UV rays on our skin (wear sunscreen!), as human beings, our bodies need sun exposure to create crucial nutrients. Vitamin D “is important for your bones, blood cells, and immune system,” says a WebMd article reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD. “It also helps you take in and use certain minerals, like calcium and phosphorus.”
Plus, morning sun isn’t as strong as afternoon sun, so you’ll be able to soak up the rays without getting totally fried.
2. Supports Your Body’s Natural Rhythm
“Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles that are part of the body’s internal clock, running in the background to carry out essential functions and processes,” says the Sleep Foundation article reviewed by Alex Dimitriu, MD. “One of the most important and well-known circadian rhythms is the sleep-wake cycle.”
Our brains work on a “master clock,” which is directly influenced by natural light—so waking up with the sun is actually what our bodies are naturally inclined to do.
3. Increase in the Happy Hormone
Sunlight, specifically morning sunlight, creates tons of mood-boosting, depression-fighting hormones. “Sunlight helps boost a chemical in your brain called serotonin,” says the WebMd article. “And that can give you more energy and help keep you calm, positive, and focused.”
Serotonin is believed to regulate mood, and happiness, and has been associated with impacting depression and anxiety. This means the powerhouse hormone is crucial to our happiness, so getting those a.m. rays will actually make you feel better emotionally.
4. You’ll Fall Asleep Faster
“Early morning sunlight in particular seems to help people get to sleep at night,” says the WebMD article. Spending time in the early morning sun boosts our production of serotonin, which turns into melatonin (the sleep hormone) after twelve hours. More melatonin = a better sleep.
5. More Time for Yourself
One of the best things about waking up early is the time you get to yourself. Taking time to start your day will increase productivity and help you feel centered. You can design your morning routine around you; include whatever makes you feel productive and energized. Perhaps it’s enjoying a cup of coffee or taking a walk. It’s all about you when you get up early enough!
Are you an early bird or a night owl? Let us know!
Featured image: @building.delight