sunset sun


Andrew Huberman discusses the importance of viewing sunlight at different times of the day to utilize natural light for regulating our sleep-wake cycle. Specifically, viewing the sun during morning and evening has significant effects on our circadian rhythm, which is our internal clock that regulates when we feel awake and when we feel sleepy.

Morning Sunlight

  • Viewing morning sunlight soon after waking up can increase alertness, focus, and overall mood, and it also helps set the circadian rhythm for the day. This sunlight exposure also has a profound effect on metabolism, which can be due to the improved sleep during the night 1.

Evening Sunlight

  • Exposing your eyes to sunlight in the late afternoon and evening plays a crucial role in signaling to the circadian clock that it's evening, preparing the body for upcoming sleep. It also provides a wavelength cue through the colors observed in the sunset (yellows, blues, oranges, and sometimes reds) that signal to the brain it's the end of the day, thus aiding in the transition to night 2.
  • This period of exposure can help protect against the negative effects of bright artificial light encountered later at night. Essentially, it helps in reducing the sensitivity to artificial lights that disrupt sleep 3.

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For optimal regulation of the sleep-wake cycle and to benefit mental and physical health, it is recommended to experience natural sunlight exposure during these critical periods of the day. This assists in reinforcing natural sleep patterns and enhancing overall wellbeing.