Dr Mosley spoke on BBC Sounds to discuss how just one thing can have a huge impact on your overall health. Today he spoke about the benefits of early morning walking and how it can help to reset our clocks. In fact, the benefits of walking outside in the morning. In fact, the benefits of morning outside walking could not only have an impact on sleep but can also help to improve one’s overall happiness thanks in part to its two chemicals produced, melatonin and serotonin.
“It’s not only that light suppresses the melatonin, but it also brings your body clock forward so that in the evening when you want to go to sleep, your body is ready for it.
“In short, if you are struggling to go to sleep at night, it could be because you are not getting enough bright light, particularly in the morning.
“The earlier you have exposure to daylight the better the impact of the quantity and quality of sleep.
“It’s also thought that early exposure to light actually reduces the amount of time you wake up during the middle of the night to get a deeper and better night’s sleep.
“Using this simple trick, you can actually train yourself to become a morning person in just a matter of weeks.
“What if you’re really not an early riser? Well don’t worry, you don’t have to get up earlier.
Just go out for a walk in just two hours of when you would normally get up and this can also work if you’re a shift worker or if you have odd working hours.
“If you’re awake when the sun is rising, although it might not feel like there is much light there is a higher proportion of blue light or short-wavelength light which is one of the same things our receptors are particularly sensitive to and can have a positive effect.”
“One of the odd things about your internal clock is that it doesn’t run 24 hours, it normally runs a little bit longer than that so one of the purposes of bright sunlight is that it resets the clock every morning and for some reason that seems to be particularly beneficial,” Dr Mosley added.
“In the winter months the days are shorter, and we get less daylight which really can throw our rhythms out of sync and in some people lead to low mood and even depression.
“If we don’t reset our clocks in the morning because we have not had enough light our body clock will be off kilter.
“We can feel very tired and grotty.
“It’s not just about how light has an effect on your melatonin levels, when you’re exposed to daylight it also triggers the release of a different chemical known as serotonin which is one that makes us feel good.
“It’s a natural mood booster, serotonin is one of the chemicals that antidepressants boost, and it’s so powerful it can actually reset your brain chemistry and perhaps even change your outlook.”