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Early Sunlight and Weight


I love this time of year in Pocatello.  The reasons are numerous, but one of them is because it gets light so early! I’m an early riser, and it’s so nice to see the sun up earlier this time of year.  Besides the obvious beauty, a recent study has concluded that getting your rays earlier in the day may aid in weight loss.  A small study from Northwestern Medicine Sleep and Circadian Rhythms Research Program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, showed that people who had their daily exposure to sunlight in the morning had lower body mass index (BMI) than those who had light exposure later in the day.  Light, as many of you know, is a powerful agent that influences your body’s internal clock or circadian rhythm.  Your circadian rhythm regulates energy balance and thus is (yet another) means to weight control.  Disruption of the circadian rhythm, such as with shift work or poor sleeping habits, has long been known to be a factor in weight regulation.  This study was the first of its kind to show that getting early morning sunlight may be of benefit even in those situations.  The authors recommend 20-30 minutes of sunlight, even on a cloudy day, every morning before noon.  I would like to add that some of said benefits may be lessened if you get up, sit in the sun, and eat a donut…

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