What if I told you I discovered a new supplement that can unlock superhero like powers inside of you? Do you fancy being a bit of a Bradley Cooper type character from the film ‘Limitless’? Do you fancy waking up every morning ready to jump out of bed? Do you want to have the strongest erections you have ever had? Sounds like BS right? How much would you be willing to pay for this? A lot I imagine if you are anything like the supplement whore I used to be.
Well, guess what. It is free. It’s called the sun and it has been around for rather a long time. I even believe there is some famous book that starts off saying that in the beginning there was light.
In this article, I am going to show some of the benefits we miss out when we deprive ourselves of this wonderful drug and how you can fully harness the power to make yourself superhuman. I’ll do this by teaching you how to reset your body clock with AM sunlight and how to be mindful of artificial light in the evening. If you want to skip the benefits then head to The Body Clock Reset Protocol at the bottom.
Firstly, What Is Light?
Light. Have you ever stopped to think about what it is? You might be able to conjure up the sun or a light bulb as an answer, but did you know light also includes wi-fi, radio waves, microwaves, X-rays etc.?
What you and I know as light, ‘blue, green, orange…’ is actually termed ‘visible light’ and forms only a fraction of the overall spectrum of light emitted from the sun. In fact, the visible spectrum is only one of seventy-three octaves! Take a look here:
Many of us don’t really think too much about light as it isn’t that obvious to our senses, thus we don’t think about how it can impact the body. However, I want you to think about Ultraviolet (UV) light. We all know that it generates the important vitamin D, a process we can feel on our skin. UV is a form of light. You may have also heard of infrared (IR), especially if you know a thing or two about saunas. Well, if you are familiar with infrared then you know your body senses it in the form of heat. This is also taught to children in elementary Geography, in the form of ‘The Greenhouse Effect’. This is why it is no Bueno to leave your dog in the car as you will end up with a hot dog.
Using UV and infrared as examples is an attempt to illustrate how light can impact our bodies. So, just because we can’t feel the other parts of the spectrum consciously, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a dramatic impact on our bodies.
Master & Commander: The Body Clock
Can you picture a caveman? If you are a Mark Sisson fan you might be thinking of Grock. Well, my caveman is Byron, and he makes a lot of groans and kind of clambers around the floor. Have you got your caveman in your mind? Is it a he or a she? What colour are its hair and skin? Is it making any sounds?
Now, tell me, what kind of watch does he or her have on? Yep, mine doesn’t have one either. So how does ‘Grock/Byron/generic caveman name’ tell the time without an Apple Watch? The Sun.
The sun is the most sophisticated information delivery service in existence. Far more powerful than the Royal Mail, UPS, Google Mail or Slack. The human body receives gazillions of messages alone from the sun. So what is all this information for?
Well, this message system is there to signal exactly what time it is to the body, depending on the type of light it chucks out. The type of light that comes from the sun varies throughout the day. Broadly speaking, first thing in the morning is blue, green and red. Then mid morning UV enters the came. Later on, the UV disappears and in walks infrared. Eventually, we find ourselves in darkness, lit up by the moonlight.
Back when we were cavemen and not wearing any clothes or sunglasses, this light would hit our eyes and skin to signal to us what time of day it was and what season it was. We had it easy.
Fast forward to today, when we are largely covered up in clothes and makeup, living an indoor existence and surrounded by tons of artificial light we have radically altered the ability to ‘tell the time’ from a biological standpoint. Even when we do go outside, we put on sunglasses and sunscreen because we have all been brainwashed that sunlight is going to give us cancer and destroy our eyesight. So, why have cultures quite literally worshipped the sun for centuries?
So, Who Cares? Your Penis and Your Vagina for a Start
Hopefully, you are beginning to realise that ‘time’, as you and I know it, is a completely man-made phenomena. The only time that matters to our bodies is the signal it gets from the sun.
But why does our body need to know the time? Well, our bodily functions such as hormone production work on a sequential system, as demonstrated in the picture below.
As soon as we disrupt our body’s ability to tell the time from natural sunlight, by sleeping in late, spending all your time indoors and then watching TV under bright lights until late at night you begin to send a rather weird signal to the body. It begins to not be able to know what time it is.
This means that your stress hormones spike in the evening when you turn on your bright lights and shuts off your sleep hormone production. Your body thinks it is morning. In fact, chances are you spend your whole day under bright artificial lights, so your body has cortisol jacked up all day long.
This leads to a myriad of health problems such as adrenal fatigue, erectile dysfunction, irregular periods, fluctuations in body temperature (how many girls are cold during the day and hot at night?) and poor digestion.
If you want a healthier sex life then start respecting the body’s ‘body clock’.
Do You Make Repeatedly Lousy Decisions?
Do you cheat on your partner? Do you choose to drink and drug rather than focussing on your new business idea? Do you reach for the donut rather than the dumbbell? Well, the hormone dopamine plays an important role in making healthy decisions.
How do we get optimal dopamine? From the sun, when UV light hits the eye and our skin. And how do we destroy dopamine? From being exposed to artificial blue light.
How does modern man currently live? 93% of the time is spent indoors! And when they are outdoors they block out UV light by wearing sunglasses, sunscreen and makeup.
Do you still think your pair of Ray-Bans is cool?
Taking Magnesium to Sleep Is ‘P**sing in the Wind’
I wrote an article for Pando a year ago on how to get better sleep, ‘Tired of being tired? 15 ways to become sleeping beauty’. Some of the info is still relevant, but I almost feel I should write a rebuttal. I didn’t emphasize the key ingredient. Light.
As I have already drilled it into you, light signals to our body what time of day it is. I have also said, disrespecting the rhythm of natural light by hanging out in front of a squabble box late at night ramps up stress hormones and ceases the production of sleep hormones. The sleep hormone is known as melatonin. Melatonin should be familiar with you as the Jedi master of high-quality sleep.
Without melatonin, you are completely unable to get into a nice deep sleep. Not only this but even if you do make it to sleep with low levels of melatonin, the body’s repair process can not run optimally as it uses melatonin to create new neural pathways in the brain. Have you ever wondered why you keep forgetting things that you learnt that day? If you really care about the performance of the brain, you need to start respecting the body block.
An Honourable Mention: Food
Unfortunately, I can only give you a few cliff notes on food in this article otherwise, your last strap of dopamine will be blasted by the length of time you have to spend in front of your computer screen.
Put simply, food is light. What? OK, let me start again.
Just like how we humans receive data from the sun, so do plants. Does photosynthesis ring any bells from your cell biology days? Well, depending where the plant/vegetable/fruit grows, it is encoded with an extremely specific message.
Our guts are essentially light detectors. Every time we eat a bit of food, our gut decodes the message from the food and sends the information to every cell of the body. I like to see my food now as ‘light bombs’ that are there purely to serve a message to my body.
Now, armed with this knowledge I want you to picture this. You are sat there in the middle of winter watching ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, munching away on some pineapple. What are you telling your body in that second? You are saying you live on the equator in the middle of summer. What a peculiar message to send to yourself… This can lead to a whole host of health problems such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Remember, everything should be seasonal to your local environment. This is why context is key when you follow your experts. If you live in gloomy Scotland and follow the prescribed diet of the fitness model you respect who happens to live in Los Angeles, you will yield dramatically different and likely damaging results. Context is so important when you read any advice, so try to think of the person’s local environment who is giving the advice and try to relate if it is relevant to yours. I’ll be writing an article on context so stay tuned for this.
If you aren’t quite buying this idea of food giving off light, then check out this product coming out at the end of the year.
The Body Clock Reset Protocol
By now, you realise light is no game. Just because we are so conditioned and familiar with artificial light, it doesn’t mean it can’t have a detrimental effect on our health. So, hopefully, you are onboard the ‘let’s reset our body clock train’.
Here is the protocol
- Wake up at sunrise (this changes every day and seasonally) and immediately get outside with no clothing on so the light hits your body. Drink a litre of water. If you can’t do this because you live in a flat in the city then at the very least stick your head out of the window so the light hits your eye and inside your ears.
- For the first 40 minutes of sunrise, you can look directly at the sun without fear of damage. Start with 10 seconds and add in 10 seconds every day. Always have your bare feet touching the ground.
- The most important part of the day is roughly between 8-10am when UV light starts to creep in. Get as naked as possible, letting that warmth hit your gonads. Start with just 15 minutes and build your tolerance up from there.
- Ditch the sunglasses. The most important surface on the body is the eye. You need to let natural light hit the eyes so stop being a doozy and throw the shades in the bin.
- If working in the office, crack open the window to allow light in. Windows act as a filter, particularly to the UV range. We need UV to thrive.
- If working indoors, get outside every hour for at least a minute.
- Eat food seasonally and food that grows locally. If you think it is too much effort to go foraging or to a farmer’s market then look for the UK flag on supermarket produce. It couldn’t be easier.
- In the evenings, avoid all artificial light where possible. Refer to my article on ‘Blue light: friend or foe’.
- Similar to sunrise, look at the sun during the last 40 minutes of sunset. Again, do this barefooted, connected to the earth. Trust me when I say this becomes an extremely powerful form of meditation.
Can you believe something so simple can yield such powerful results? If you don’t believe me, start to look at supercentenarian populations and many of them live in a high UV environments where their lifestyle has allowed them to harness the sun’s benefits, i.e. they don’t work in London, on a trading floor, eating fast food, in front of 6 computer screens bathing under artificial light.
Take home message: seek the sun whenever you can. Start off small if you don’t believe me and you will find you begin to crave it.