Good morning and welcome to Episode 110 of The Train Your Brain Podcast with Dr. Michael Trayford. Every Monday we produce a 30-minute episode. Tuesday through Sunday we produce episodes with five-minute tips. Every episode of the Train Your Brain Podcast features a tip, so you can receive pointers 365 days a year that will help enhance the performance of your brain!
Today Dr. Trayford shares brain training tip number 110 advising us to get enough exposure to natural light. Depending on where you live this might be a challenging tip during the winter, but it is so critical to your sleep that you get at least some sunshine! Your body depends on the sunlight to set its circadian rhythm. If you work all night and sleep all day, which many good, hard-working individuals do, then just try to set a standard schedule so that your body can have its own rhythm. Either way try to go get some sun today! Thanks for listening!
If you have any concerns regarding the information and applications discussed in this podcast, please consult your physician and a doctor who is experienced in functional neurology. Michael Trayford DC, DACNB is available for consultation by calling (828) 708-5274. Thanks for listening.
This tip related to getting outside to get some natural light. Adequate exposure to natural light is a critical topic that most people tend to ignore. While sitting at your desk and being sedentary, there is also a lack of getting outside. The implications of these aren’t always understood by the average person.
Getting adequate light before you go to sleep is critical for your brain to set its natural sleep-wake patterns. Getting natural light exposure then becomes critical for setting our internal clock. This is related to a process where certain glands and mechanisms in the brain keep us on a pattern so that we can be well rested at night and wake up the next morning, ready to face the day.
There are a lot of people doing shift work and working overnight that this might not apply to, because their daily schedule is different.
The more things you do to dial in your sleep-wake cycle and be consistent with it, the better off your brain will be. Basically it doesn’t take a lot of natural light to make a difference. The indoor lighting that you get simply isn’t powerful enough, in the wave length that your internal clock needs to function as it should.
Now it’s been shown that roughly 30 to 60 minutes of exposure to natural light creates a thing called an anchoring effect. This light anchors the circadian rhythm of your sleep-wake cycle. Natural light exposure helps your body get to sleep at a more predictable time to wake up at a predictable time.
Some people need more light than others. It might vary depending on your age, ethnicity, and activity level. There’s no perfect time of day to get natural light exposure, but generally when the sun is at its peak, called solar noon, you should try to get outside.
There’s also an aspect of getting out to see the sunset. On a regular basis many people don’t take the time to note the setting of the sun. Doing it on a regular basis can be very empowering. If you make the effort, I think you’ll find that taking a few minutes to go out and watch the sunset, will have a positive effect on your quality of sleep.
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