On Sunday, eat breakfast near a window or take an early walk outdoors. Bright light exposure in the morning helps regulate the body’s internal 24-hour clock and sleep-wake cycle, including the timely production of melatonin, the nighttime hormone that signals to the body that it’s bedtime. By getting sun in early, your alertness peaks when it counts and you will be appropriately sleepy by nightfall.
Bright light exposure is also used in light therapy as a natural antidepressant and sleep supplement. “But you don’t need an expensive light bulb. We are designed to respond to sunshine. It is well suited to act as an energy boost,” says Dr. Michael Twery, director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health.