There is a supernutrient that everyone has access to every single day, but most people take it completely for granted. At certain times of the year you may get enough of it, but during other periods you get hardly any. We also tend to get too much of the wrong kind and not enough of the “right” kind…
So, what is this supernutrient? It is sunlight, and in today’s episode, I dive deep into the science behind why it’s so important. The impact sunlight has on both your psychology and physiology is huge. Making steps in the right direction couldn’t be easier, and doesn’t have to cost you much time or money.
I’ve written an article that accompanies this episode, so whether you read or listen (or both), be sure to take a step back and think about how much of the “right” light you’re getting.
IN TODAY’S SHOW YOU WILL LEARN:
- The impact sunlight has on your mind and body that so few people are aware of.
- The science behind these positive impacts, and how you can use this to bio-hack your own body.
- The story behind how I first got into Light Therapy (and why it was so important that I did it when I did)
- How sunlight is not only linked to your skin but every single part of your body.
- The different types of light, and the effect each one has on you.
- The different forms of light therapy, and what each one involves.
- The personal products I use to ensure I get enough of this supernutrient into my body each and every day.
- How to get involved in the next round of the 12 Weeks to Transformation
I spoke to a friend recently who has a problem that many people face during this time of year!
He’s a Radiologist. That means he works in a room with no windows. At the moment, he leaves the house in the morning before it gets light and doesn’t return home until after dark.
Each day, he’s getting very little sunlight.
He’s heard me talk about this before, so he asked me for some advice.
He also knew that I used to do light therapy, so asked if I still did it. I do. Not only that, I’m a huge advocate of light therapy and have researched the impact of sunlight A LOT recently.
Because as you know, I’ll soon be a mother to a daughter born in the winter. I know how important light is to an infant, so I want to make sure she gets enough of it at a time when we don’t see it often.
And as I spoke to my friend and thought about this…
I realized just how many people this affects these days.
- The people who work in offices, in front of a bright computer screen each day…
- The people who work in public buildings lit with fluorescent lighting…
- The people who work long hours like my friend, leaving and returning home in darkness…
Even those of us who work from home or run a business get so caught up in our work that we forget to step outside and look upward. By not doing so, you are having a HUGE impact on your mind and body.
Not the good kind of impact, either. The bad kind. So I decided to record an episode that dives deep into the science behind light, and look at the supernutrient we all get access to each day but so often neglect… SUNLIGHT!
(if you want to dive deep into the science behind all this, I encourage you to listen to this episode in full. In this article, I’ll touch upon some of the science. But I go much deeper in the podcast episode.)
What’s Light Got To Do With It?
A lack of the “right” light has negative impacts on your health and mindset. We’ll talk more about the different types of light next because getting too much of the wrong kind is just as bad.
First, I want to make sure you know how super the supernutrient of sunlight actually is!
There’s a lot to discuss, which I do in the podcast episode that accompanies this article. Listen to it in full to get the complete insight behind the science.
This begins by thinking about the impact light has on plants.
Without enough of the right light, a plant will die. The reason is that light controls cellular activity.
A lack of light severely impacts this, and in time the plant begins to wilt and die.
Well, the same is true in animals. It controls our cellular activity too and is just as essential to our health, growth and wellbeing as water, food and sleep are. It influences and impacts what our cells do, how much energy we have and even our hormones.
Many people also take vitamins and minerals in a bid to live a healthier life, but it’s light that activates these vitamins and minerals. So even if you take them, they won’t be as effective unless you get enough of the right kind of light.
All of this comes together to affect how we live:
- It impacts sleep, as light controls your Circadian Rhythm (and sleep-wake cycles)
- It modulates your hormones and therefore impacts your mood and mental state.
- It massively influences your skin health, but also many aspects that go on beneath it.
But the reality is most people know this. You know you need sunlight and you know it has an impact on your health and mental wellbeing. But I see so many people do nothing about it, and I think it’s because it isn’t portrayed in the same “light” as water, sleep and food is.
There’s also a lack of understanding of the different types of light.
Which is important, because each type of light impacts you in different ways.
You need to avoid some, but you also need a lot more of others…
The Different Types of Light
The best form of light is sunlight, as it produces Full Spectrum Light. It gives you everything you need, and in an ideal world, we would all get a lot of sunlight each day.
At certain times of the year, this is no problem.
But in winter, for many of us… well, it’s an issue.
Now sure, too much sunlight is bad for you. We all know how damaging and painful sunburn can be. But the same applies to food, water and sleep… as too much of these are also harmful to you.
The reality is you need sunlight year-round, so if you don’t get this from nature you may need to implement some form of light therapy. We’ll get to this next, but first, let’s overview the main types of light:
This is the type of light most people know about. Too much of it’s harmful and can burn your skin. But it’s UVA that also produces Vitamin D, which has a big impact on your mood.
So although you need to limit your exposure to UVA, blocking it completely is not the answer.
This type of light causes less tissue damage than UVA and has more biological benefits. For starters, it’s UVB that activates the Vitamin D that UVA creates, and turns it into Vitamin D Sulfate. This produces some major health benefits, which I discuss in the podcast episode (listen to it in full here).
What’s important to note here is that a lot of people take Vitamin D supplements each day (especially in the winter months). But unless you get exposure to UVB, it isn’t activated and therefore less effective.
Blue light has come into prominence in recent years, as most of us spend a lot of time looking at a screen (laptop and/or phone). Blue light is very taxing on your eyes, but it also suppresses melatonin production.
This is what leads to that wired but tired feeling at night, where you feel exhausted but unable to switch off.`
This is what excites me the most, and is the reason I started light therapy in the first place. I share that story in the episode, so be sure to listen to it in full.
Red light is like a supernutrient in its own right:
- It’s great for any skin issue that needs more blood flow
- It’s powerful for detoxing (removing waste from your body)
- It repairs damaged tissue
- It decreases inflammation and swelling
- It’s great for energy and your metabolism.
- It triggers collagen synthesis (great for joints and younger-looking skin)
There’s a reason more and more athletes use Red Light Therapy as part of their training.
It has huge health benefits, yet is hardly spoken about in the media.
How I Use Light Therapy Each Day
Again, I discuss this in greater detail in the episode, so please listen to it in full for further context.
For starters, I ALWAYS expose at least my hands and face to 3-5 minutes of natural sunlight each day. No matter how cold it is, I’ll stand by the car for a few minutes and soak it in.
The impact of just a few minutes of sunlight each day can be significant.
Beyond this, there are a few things I use as part of my light therapy.
This free app is great if you work on a computer for long periods of time. It adapts your computer’s display to the time of day, giving your eyes what it needs when it needs it.
2: Klassy Blue Light Glasses
These are the glasses I use to block blue light. Again, if you spend time on a computer or a phone, these glasses have a big impact. They reduce eye fatigue and allow you to sleep better.
You can learn more about Klassy’s Blue Blocker Glasses Here (use code: primal if you decide to buy).
3: The Joovv Red Light
I love my Joovv Light. It’s an easy way to get some essential red light each day and is small enough to go where you do. I encourage you to learn more about the different lights Joovv produce here (and if you choose to buy one, use the code: PRIMAL).
4: Salt Lamps and Full-Spectrum Light Bulbs
This is something I’m just beginning to use… Salt lamps are a great alternative to a red light, and although you won’t want your house exclusively covered in full-spectrum bulbs, having a few is a great way to get some of that supernutrient into your system.
I talk about all this and more in the episode that accompanies this article. Listen to it in full for further context, and be sure to leave a comment below if you have any questions about the effect of light therapy.
Thanks for reading today. Please listen to the podcast that accompanies this article in full for a complete insight into the science behind this amazing supernutrient, sunlight.
I love recording science-based episodes like this one.
I hope you’ve enjoyed it too, and that you leave inspired.
If you have and would like to explore this further, join the 12 Weeks to Transformation Wait List. It is now open, and those on the Wait List get all the information about 2020’s first edition of the 12 Weeks to Transformation before everyone else.
Join the Wait List Here ⇒
Thanks again for listening and reading. If you have any questions please add them in the comments below. And to subscribe to the podcast and connect with me on social media, follow the links below.