An interesting new study may give you yet another reason to lay off the snooze button this summer.

Jessica Aidley [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Jessica Aidley [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

In a recent article by the Mother Nature Network, it was revealed that there may be a link between early morning sun exposure and weight loss. With summer just around the corner and our motivation to get out of bed earlier (from the sun shining through our windows at 6AM) growing stronger, we decided that this was something worth investigating.

The article states that it is “healthier to keep your sleeping habits in tune with the light-dark cycle of the sun.” In a study that was done in Chicago, researchers found that “the earlier light exposure occurred during the day, the lower individuals’ body mass index.” Key to the study? The idea that patterned light exposure helps to regulate metabolism.

Our interest was sparked, so we decided to reach out for some other opinions.  Beth Shaw, founder of YogaFit, helped to reinforce the claims. She agrees that 20-30 minutes of morning sunlight helps to “synchronize your internal clock,” aka get your metabolism moving! Shaw says, “many studies have found that early morning sun exposure plays a role in jump-starting metabolism. A famous study that came out in April from Northwestern University found that the more AM sunlight someone got, the lower their body mass index.”

More supporting evidence came in from Dr. Shewprashad of South Florida. He explains that weight gain is often linked to a Vitamin D deficiency. Our skin converts UVB rays from sunlight into Vitamin D, yhus, getting more sun in the AM will increase your Vitamin D levels naturally. Shaw chimed in on this point as well stating, “Vitamin D is needed to help keep hunger cravings in check, as well as increase the level of serotonin in your body. Plus Vitamin D is essential for absorbing other types of weight-loss nutrients like calcium.”

And our favorite point (also by Shaw)—sunlight makes you happy. Therefore, if you get more sunlight earlier in the morning, you’ll be happier and make better decisions when it comes to deciding between Chop’t and Chipotle for lunch. I think we’ve just been convinced to set our alarms an hour earlier this summer!

Arielle Sidrane is the Associate Editor of Spa Week Daily.

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