Part 5: The Power of Darkness: Harnessing Shorter Days for Health and Happiness

Part 5: The Power of Darkness: Harnessing Shorter Days for Health and Happiness

In blog number 4, we spoke about how starting your day by embracing the light,  opening a window while making breakfast, or letting in the fresh, crisp winter air through your car window, allows you to connect with the natural world outside. These moments, though brief, are foundational steps towards aligning with nature’s rhythms. Remember, the journey towards better health through light is not a sprint but a marathon. Patience is key, as even the smallest changes in your daily light exposure can lead to profound benefits for your health and well-being. Aim for small and gradual improvements, embracing the philosophy that a 1% positive change each day leads to a compounded transformation over time.

In this blog, we will talk about another very important environmental signal, a major source of information that our bodies rely on in order to adapt to the change in seasons and maintain wellbeing and vibrancy during the winter months.

As we come closer to December 21st, have you noticed how the days get shorter and shorter? Sometimes it gets dark as early as 4:30 pm, and in some places, even by 3 pm. 

‘’When the pendulum of nature starts swinging towards the winter season, the increase in the darkness duration acts as the messenger to the body.’’ 

Our bodies pay close attention to this change, especially a tiny part of our brain called the pineal gland.

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What's the Big Deal with Shorter Days?

As we move from the long, sunny days after July 21st, heading towards December 21st, our days start to get a bit shorter every time the sun sets. There's this tiny part in our brain called the pineal gland that's really paying attention to this. It notices that it's getting dark earlier and starts to release melatonin, a sleep hormone, just a bit earlier each day. ( Assuming that your environment is not corrupted by artificial lights at night)

So, as winter gets closer,  melatonin starts showing up a little sooner, all the way until December 21st, the longest night of the year and our pineal gland is like a little alarm clock saying, "Hey, it's getting dark earlier every day, time to start activating the winter time metabolism." 

‘’When the melatonin cycle becomes longer, it acts as a messenger, telling the body that the winter time is here and that it’s time to shift our metabolism to winter mode and start physiologically getting ready to boost that winter resilience.’’

Melatonin is much more than a sleep hormone

Aside from signaling that winter is on its way, there are countless  reasons  why you'll want to keep your melatonin levels ticking up in an optimal way that is naturally aligned with the season.

Melatonin isn't just any hormone; It's your body’s main signal to help you regenerate and clean yourself at night. It fights off cancer, reduces inflammation, acts as an antioxidant, and even slows down aging. The increased melatonin during winter is meant to protect you from colds, inflammation, muscle pains, and aches.

Here's a cool fact: each melatonin molecule can take on and neutralize up to 10 inflammatory free radicals. To put that into perspective, the best antioxidant from food can handle maybe 1-2 free radicals per molecule. 

‘’Naturally produced melatonin is like 5 to 10 times stronger than most of the antioxidants you can eat.’’

Plus, overnight, melatonin gets converted into serotonin — that's the "feel good" hormone. It's what helps you wake up feeling satisfied and happy.

Most people attribute the winter blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) to the lack of light, yet, very few can see how it is due to the lack of darkness. 

 ‘’Artificial light exposure after sunset disrupts the natural production of melatonin. leading to a depletion of serotonin.’’

So, can you see why ancient cultures really valued the winter? They saw it as a prime time for the body to heal, rejuvenate, and restore itself.

Doesn't that make you think? Maybe there's something to this whole "embracing the darkness" thing as much as we do the light.

Ready to turn your winters from blue to brilliant? 
Our "Transform Your Winter Blues and Fatigue Into Vibrant Energy" master class is just what you need. 
Take advantage of our special 50% discount offer today!

The Dark Side of Modern Light: How Artificial Illumination Disrupts Your Body's Natural Rhythms

In our modern world, we're messing with our body's natural rhythms without even realizing it. 

Ever find yourself wide awake and buzzing at night? Maybe it's because we're not embracing the darkness like we should.

Once the sun goes down, we're bombarded with a second sun – artificial light. We flip on lamps, dive into our screens, and scroll through social media, all while wondering why we're not feeling sleepy.

All this artificial light messes with our body's sleep hormone, melatonin. When it's thrown off, our body can't do its nighttime clean-up and repair properly. Even if we do manage to sleep for 8 hours, messed-up melatonin means our body misses out on its essential nighttime rejuvenation.

And when our melatonin cycle gets messed up, our body loses its sense of the seasons. It's like turning night into day and winter into summer. That throws off our body's natural healing and rejuvenating abilities, leaving us feeling drained and down.

The solution is not as hard as you think it is. We can easily get back on track by managing artificial light better, especially when it's dark outside. By giving our body the darkness it needs, we can protect our melatonin cycle and restore our natural rhythm. 

Simple actions like diming those lights, unplugging from our screens, and wearing high quality circadian blue blockers  will re-give our body the rest it craves.

Action Steps:

  1. Wear your evening Circadian lens technology after sunset: Once the sun sets, clip on the VivaRays evening blue light blocker to control the light entering your eyes. This technology is designed to filter out the light that confuses your brian into thinking it is daytime
  2. Switch to the red circadian lens technology 1 hour before bedtime: About an hour before you plan to sleep, switch to the red circadian lens technology. This signals to your brain that it's nighttime, maximizing melatonin production and allowing for deep, restful sleep.
  3. Use fire, candlelight, Himalayan salt lamps, and warm, dim lighting after sunset: Opt for natural sources of light like fire, candles, and salt lamps after sunset. These sources emit healing infrared light, which is absent in modern light bulbs. Creating a cave-like environment in your bedroom by using blackout curtains or a VivaRay blackout mask will enhance the quality of your sleep.
  4. Keep your bedroom free from wifi and phone signals: Wifi and phone signals operate at a light frequency called microwave, which can disrupt melatonin production. Transform your bedroom into a sanctuary space by turning off the wife,  eliminating electronic devices and creating a calm, soothing atmosphere conducive to restful sleep.


Taking steps to manage artificial light exposure can have a profound impact on your sleep quality and overall well-being. By embracing darkness and prioritizing natural sources of light after sunset, you can support your body's natural rhythms and enhance your ability to rest, repair, and rejuvenate. Consider incorporating these simple yet powerful practices into your nightly routine to optimize your health and vitality. And if you're looking for a convenient solution, consider investing in VivaRay's 3 in 1 circadian light harmoning glasses to take control of your light environment wherever you go. Your body will thank you for it.

Ready to turn your winters from blue to brilliant? 
Our "Transform Your Winter Blues and Fatigue Into Vibrant Energy" master class is just what you need. 
Take advantage of our special 50% discount offer today!

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