Morning Light and Fatigue

The number 1 most commonly used drug in the world today is coffee, and this is because the vast proportion of the population is not exposed to the morning light.

We’ve moved from spending so much of our lives outdoors, to a completely indoor one and shift workers are especially vulnerable due to having to work shifts that go against the body’s innate timing system or circadian rhythm.

Morning light exposure stimulates the eye to instigate subconscious functions within the body. It activates the autonomic nervous system, part of the body that controls heartbeat, waste excretion, hunger, thirst etc.

It also activates or suppresses certain neurotransmitters and hormones such as serotonin, melatonin and cortisol which have HUGE impacts on our energy levels.

So instead of reaching for the caffeine as soon as you get up, where possible (even if this means ducking outside whilst you’re on an early shift), spend 10-15 minutes outside watching the sunrise as this will help to energize you on a cellular level.

It will also reduce further strain on your tired, weary and frazzled nervous system as a result of the subsequent blood sugar crash that often occurs after we consume caffeine.

A win-win for anyone working 24/7!

Audra x


  1. Karen

    Is this suggested for people who are just getting off shift at 6 or 7 am (right before sleep)? Or should this be reserved for days off?

    • Audra Starkey

      Hi Karen,
      Thanks for your question. Yes, this is best for those on their days off, especially the first complete day off after doing a string of night shifts to help to recalibrate the circadian timing system. You don’t want to be doing this straight after night shift as the light stimulation will prevent you from sleeping. Instead, always ensure to wear sunglasses on the drive home (if bright light is an issue), as you’re needing to encourage the body to sleep and not awaken. Hope that helps.


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