Sunlight for Weight Control
I hope this report lights up your day! In a fascinating study, researchers noted a robust and consistent relationship between exposure to bright, natural light in the early part of the day and a lower body weight.
For the study, researchers had 54 adults wear a special device that monitored their light exposure and the amount of time they spent sleeping. The investigators also had the study subjects keep food and activity journals. Study subjects who received the brightest light exposure, particularly from sunlight in the outdoors and early in the day, were the slimmest. Even after controlling for other potential influences like calorie intake, physical activity levels and sleep duration, those who experienced bright light before noon still had a significantly lower body mass index.
Although these results are preliminary and more research is needed, they are in line with others suggesting that light exposure has a notable influence on appetite regulation and metabolism likely mediated by its influence on our diurnal rhythms. It appears that getting morning light exposure (even for just 10 -20 minutes), while reducing exposure to light as the day goes on, with particular vigilance in avoiding excessive light exposure at night (think close backlighting from tablets, smartphones, and computers) is good for sleep, body weight and health. (PLOS One, April 2, 2014)
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