Getting your daily dose of sunlight with a 9 to 6

Tips to get your mood-boosting sunlight despite a busy workday

Gautham Dinesh
3 min readMar 17, 2024
Photo by Daniel Peters on Unsplash

Getting enough sunlight in your eyes at different times during the day is essential to maintaining proper energy levels and mood throughout your awake period. This is why neuroscientist and podcaster, Andrew Huberman, always stresses the importance of getting sunlight in your eyes first thing after waking up. And I couldn’t agree less.

Living in London and working from 9 to 5 usually means that some days go by when I do not get any sunlight except through the windows at work. When I leave the house at 6:30 for my morning gym session, especially during winter, the sun is not out. And when I leave the office by half 6, the sun has already set. This has a huge impact on my mood and performance since my baseline level of energy and dopamine which in turn affects my motivation is swayed heavily by my direct exposure to sunlight.

This is why I seize every opportunity during my cramped day to get a bit of morning, afternoon and evening sunlight. And this is exactly how you can do this too:


After my workout and shower, I go to my desk, check emails and get some admin tasks out of the way before my morning scrum. After scrum, I head down and step outside the office, trying to face the sun to get as much sunlight in my eyes for about 5 to 10 minutes. This bright morning light will phase advance my circadian clock, making me feel sleepier earlier and wake up earlier. I return and grab my morning coffee before heading to my desk.


I usually have lunch with my team and bring a packed lunch so there is no need to step out during this time. But when I don’t bring lunch, I get some sunlight during the walk to buy lunch. However, I don’t consider this essential since afternoon sunlight is in the dead zone as it relates to the circadian cycle so it doesn’t cause a shift forward or backwards in the time that I wake up.


Getting out during this time is difficult as I try to wrap things up before leaving. But often, I will have a quick break with colleagues from other teams for about 10 minutes around 4 or 5 pm. I try to get myself out during this time and get some of these sunset rays to phase delay my circadian clock, making me fall asleep and wake up later. The combination of morning and evening sunlight will balance out so that my sleep and wake time stays the same.