Hello, VivaRays community!
As we continue our journey through the vibrant world of winter, we arrive at Blog 3, where we delve into the transformative power of light.
Today, we begin to view light from a whole new perspective—not just as a source of vision but as the primary source of information that allows us to synchronize ourselves with nature's daily and seasonal cycles.
In blog number 2, we spoke about how animals adapt to winter with their 'winter programming. Today, we uncover the powerful role UV light and sunlight intensity play in this adaptation process. We'll delve into how you and I, and indeed all humans, can harness this powerful force of nature, once you understand the secrets I'm about to reveal.
The Language of Light: Nature's Transformative Tool
Imagine the first rays of the morning sun, painting the sky in hues of orange and pink. This daily masterpiece is not just a visual treat; it's nature's way of speaking to us, delivering vital information through light.
The light in our environment changes constantly, providing information to our bodies to adapt and thrive.
The Power of Photoreceptors: How Our Bodies Use Light
Did you know that our bodies are covered with photoreceptors? Yes, much like solar panels, we humans have the remarkable ability to convert light into the electricity that drives our metabolism and energy.
We have an abundance of these receptors in our eyes, skin, and even our gut. These are proteins that capture light and utilize this information to reset our circadian and seasonal rhythms and produce essential hormones and neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin that control the way we think, feel, and act.
´´The light that enters your eyes controls the way you think, feel, and act. Light creates your reality´´
Decoding Sunlight: Why UV Rays and Light Intensity Are Crucial
- They help your body know the time of day: The journey of the sun across the sky from sunrise to noon brings a significant change in its intensity.
In the early morning, the gentle light, free from UV rays, softly nudges our body to awaken and prepare for the day ahead. This morning light resets our circadian clock and signals to the body that it is daytime.
Then, approximately an hour after sunrise, a pivotal shift occurs – UVA light begins to enter the atmosphere. As the sun ascends towards its midday peak, we see an increase in both the light's intensity and the levels of UV radiation, with UVB rays also making their presence known, depending on the season and our latitude. This gradual increase in sunlight and UV exposure is vital for our body's synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters, which are essential for maintaining vibrant energy and optimal health.
Understanding the importance of morning light is one thing, but incorporating it into a busy schedule is another.
Don't worry, I've got you covered. In the next blog, I'll share actionable steps on how to make the most of this time of day, regardless of how hectic your day might be. The key lies in timing your exposure to align with these optimal periods of sunlight.
They help your body know the time of the seaon: The angle and intensity of sunlight are not constant throughout the year. They change depending on the season. This changing light acts as a natural signal to inform our bodies about the time of the season.
Think about the summertime… The sun ascends higher in the sky, striking the Earth at a more direct angle. This elevation increases both the amount of light reaching us and the levels of UVA and UVB rays, compared to winter.
Our bodies track the changes in the light to properly adapt to the different seasons.
In summer, the abundance of light and UV rays helps to activate our ‘’summer mode’’. How does this manifest? Think about how you typically feel during summer: higher energy levels, a more active metabolism, a brighter mood…
In contrast, winter brings a different tune. In an ideal world, if your body is attuned to the light in your environment, the reduced intensity of sunlight and UV light signal our bodies to enter 'winter mode.
Now you may be thinking… The winter mode is that depressed gloomy mode that I hate.
No, it is not.
Nature doesn't feel depressed during the winter, rather all of nature goes into a state of conservation of energy, introspection, and rejuvenation.
You can also do this when you understand how to re-tune your connection to the light in your environment. In winter, our bodies require different care compared to summer. This next blog will guide you through practical steps to adapt to the lower light levels of winter and make the most of this introspective season.
We will help your body understand it's geographical location and latitude.The latitude where you live on Earth affects the intensity of sunlight and UV exposure you receive.
For example, Sunlight is stronger at the equator than further north
At the equator, the sun's rays hit the Earth at a more direct angle. This directness leads to greater sunlight intensity and higher levels of UV light. In contrast, as you move towards the poles, the sun's angle becomes more oblique, resulting in less intense sunlight and reduced UV exposure. (especially true during the winter time)I
Also, the higher our latitude the greater the seasonal variation which also leads to greater daily variations in the light.
Think about it… in Mexico, the difference between summer and winter light isn't that huge. But in Canada? Oh boy, it's like nature's light show – long, bright summers and short, dark winters. This also means your day-to-day light experience changes a lot more and your sleep/wake cycle is going to change drastically. In a perfect world, we're supposed to snuggle up and sleep longer in the winter, and then make the most of those longer summer days. But often, our modern lives don’t follow this natural rhythm.
Syncing up with your local light scene is important no matter where you are. But if you're living in a place with wild shifts in light, like our friends up north, it's even more crucial. Your body's rhythm depends on it for everything from mood to sleep.
In the next blog, I’m going to give you some super handy tips to help you tune into your local light vibes, no matter if you're living in the sunny South or the wintry North. We at VivaRays are all about helping you align with nature's rhythm, so you can sleep better, feel better, and live better.
So by now, you can see how the intensity of sunlight as well as the amount of UVA and UVB arriving at the eyes and skin, are very important markers for the body to understand where it is (the location/latitude) on earth as well as the time of the day and the time of the season.
In this blog, we have journeyed through the significance of UV light and sunlight intensity in setting our circadian rhythm and seasonal rhythm.
We've discovered that we are much like solar panels, absorbing and utilizing light to regulate our body's rhythms and functions. However, the modern lifestyle, with its reliance on artificial light, often disrupts this natural harmony, leading to a disconnection from the vital cycles of nature.
In the upcoming Blog 4, we will explore how exposure to natural light not only affects our mood and energy but also plays a crucial role in the production of melatonin, leading to restful sleep.
We'll look at how the decrease in UV and light intensity in the fall is a signal for our bodies to start preparing for winter, enhancing our resilience to colder temperatures and lack of sunlight.
We'll discuss how modern life may have weakened this crucial communication and how we can re-tune our senses to nature's messages.
We will provide easy and practical steps to align your lifestyle with these natural rhythms, ensuring that you make the most of the winter season.
Blog 4 is all about teaching you how to embrace the winter and transform your experience of winter from a time of struggle to a season of magic and renewal.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to add them to the comment section below and we will get back to you.