Researchers at Northwestern Medicine say there’s a “magic number” for the intensity of sunlight you get in a day (and when you get it!). Get the correct amount of sunlight at just the right time, and these doctors say you’re more likely to be lean. Here’s the scoop…
A recent light study measured the time, intensity, and duration of light exposure during the day to determine how light is linked to body weight.
Researchers discovered that people who experienced more light in the morning hours had a lower BMI (body mass index) than people who experienced more light later on in the day.
Is Light the Only Thing that Matters?
More light in the morning means a lower BMI according to this study.
But, interestingly, their results say that light exposure has this impact independent of…
- Activity level…
- Calorie intake…
- Sleep timing…
- Or time of year.
This means that light exposure might play a more important role than how much you eat, how much you exercise, and how old you are when it comes to body mass index.
You Body Might Burn More Calories if You Get 20 Minutes of Light in the Morning
Researchers say that light helps regulate your internal body clock.
This internal clock helps determine how your metabolism uses energy – and how much energy it uses.
The message of the study is this: Getting 20 to 30 minutes of morning light synchronizes your internal body clock and helps regulate energy metabolism.
Additionally, researchers found that time matters too. People who get light in the afternoon, but not the morning do not experience the same BMI lowering benefit.
What’s the short version?
Your body burns more calories if you get 20 to 30 minutes of light in the morning.
- The original study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3973603/
- Press release from Northwestern University about this study: https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2014/04/morning-rays-keep-off-the-pounds
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