Posted October 27, 2014
“It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth and wisdom.” ~Aristotle
Aristotle’s words remind us of the benefits of getting up earlier in the morning, and new research indicates this early-morning habit may also help people lose weight.
Lower body fat
Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine studied whether early morning light kick-starts the metabolism. To evaluate this idea, they conducted a small research program with 54 people, all around age 30. The participants wore a wrist monitor that recorded their sleep patterns and exposure to light for a week, and they also kept track of what they ate.
The researchers discovered a connection between exposure to early morning light and the body mass index (measurement of body fat based on height and weight) of the participants. Participants who were regularly exposed to 20-30 minutes of morning sunlight, between 8 a.m. and noon had lower levels of body fat.
Blue light ignites metabolism
Scientists believe the blue light of the morning ignites the body’s metabolism. However, most people spend more time inside than outside, and do not get enough natural light from the early morning sunshine.
Spend time in morning light
Several years ago, medical experts identified that people need good sleep in order to lose weight. Now researchers at Northwestern University believe exposure to early morning light is another important factor in weight management.
Researchers encourage businesses and schools to:
- Develop wellness programs that encourage students and workers to spend time outdoors in the morning.
- Install more windows in buildings to expose people to outside light.
Researchers are planning additional studies to define the connection between morning light and weight management.
If you’re not getting adequate rest and enough morning sun, here’s some advice from another wise man: “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” ~Ben Franklin