I drink a cup of sunlight every morning to brighten myself. Debasish Mridha
👆🚨This is not a quote to be cute. This is a legitimate strategy to feel better during the day and sleep better at night!
STORY: I spoke to a friend this afternoon about the importance of creating a morning and evening ritual for great sleep. We discussed the familiar wind-down routine, but when I started going nuts on the importance of conducting your morning routine OUTSIDE... not just for mindset, but to strengthen our circadian rhythm & energy reserves...she suggested I call it a ‘wind-up routine’ (She is clearly a copywriter 🤣).
I explained it like this…
If you’re waking up and lingering in your bed in the dark, you are confusing your body. We are designed to have a nice healthy surge of cortisol (a good thing in the morning!) to wind-up 😉and take on our day with gusto. Without the shot of sunlight that, prior to Edison’s 💡lightbulb moment, we’ve all been trained to wake up with for centuries… our suprachiasmatic nucleus (or ‘master clock’) has difficulty gauging the time and conducting itself accordingly.
This act of staying indoors in dim lighting every morning doesn’t just impact the first half of your day, it is effectively ensuring that your sleep onset in the evening will be delayed.
If you want great sleep, start with building a wind-up routine for yourself that involves bringing your morning routine outside (you dog owners and dog walkers really win on this one!). Here are some steps that you can take to improve your sleep by creating a non-negotiable outdoor morning routine, not because the self-help people say too...but because you want to get killer sleep later tonight!
- 🚶Resource: Video, The "Get Up, Get Out" morning approach from the Tedx Talk How To Optimize Light For Health. This video recommends that you spend at least 10 minutes outside before noon (I suggest you start with this and work up to 20-30!). Followed by at least 30 mins total throughout the day (I suggest that you start with this and work up to an hour, at least!).***Note: Make sure you do this without sunglasses! If you’re concerned about your eyes, you might want to read this article, For Better Vision, Let The Sunshine In
- ☀️Resource: Video, Sleep, Daylight Anchoring, and Effects on Memory & Obesity with Dan Pardi. This is a pretty mind-blowing interview on Rhonda Patrick’s podcast (also, a must-follow). Go deep with Dan Pardi, on the deleterious effects that neglecting that "light anchor" can have on your sleep and ultimately your health (or as my boyfriend says, be reminded that “Mollie Ruins Everything” 🤣)
- 🌅Resource: Miracle Morning, this is an oldie but a goodie. I come back to it regularly if I've gotten off track with my morning journaling.
- 📜Resource: HabitNest, I just got this one in the mail TODAY after watching a pretty convincing endorsement from Gary Vee on IG!. I like that the packaging proclaims it to be, “The Journal You’ll Actually Use! #TBC!
As always, please send me your thoughts on this week’s obsession or your current fascinations.