Early Morning Sun Exposure May Aid in Controlling Waistlines

Prior studies have also found that controlling sleep duration or light exposure can incur alterations in individual’s metabolic function, body fat, and appetite. One such study demonstrated that exercise was more effective at lowering body fat with it was combined with a good amount of sunlight exposure.

For the new study, 54 participants with a mean age of 30, wore a special wrist device to measure their exposure to light and sleeping patterns over the span of 1 week. The study participants also kept records of their dietary habits so investigators could evaluate their intake of calories during the course of the 7-day study period.

Co-author Giovanni Santostasi and fellow Northwestern University researchers sought out a link between timing, duration, or intensity of light and body mass index. However, no correlation was discernable, until he decided to try combining the three factors together into a measure known as “mean light timing” (MLiT).

The team subsequently discovered a connection between even moderate intensity light exposure and BMI. Participants who underwent most of their exposure to light earlier in the day were more likely to have a lower BMI. For every hour later of sun exposure during the day, there was a subsequent 1.28 unit increase in BMI.

The researchers also discovered that there was only a link between BMI and light exposure for light intensities between 170 lux and 850 lux. Putting this into perspective, in America, typical room light is normally between 200 and 300 lux. In terms of outdoor light, even on a cloudy day, the light intensity is over 1,000 lux of brightness.
On average, the participants were exposed to light over 100 lux for around 4 hours a day. However, light exposure is something that could be altered to suit the individual.

“”Light is a modifiable variable with the possibility to be utilized within weight management programs,”” Reid says. “”Much the same as individuals are attempting to get more rest to help them get in shape, maybe controlling light is an alternate approach to get thinner.””

However why does early morning light have this impact on BMI? The specialists think it is on account of light and dark give signals that manage our internal clocks – what is known as “”circadian health.”” And in the mornings we are laid open to a higher measure of “”blue light”” – daylight of a shorter wavelength – that has been indicated to have a significant impact on the circadian system.

In spite of the fact that this kind of study can’t demonstrate cause and effect, it does recommend that light assumes a part in managing metabolism. Further studies will be required to test this connection further.  Until then, it may be worth acknowledging what amount of light we take in on a regular basis and how altering this may benefit our general wellbeing.