It seems Asian people seldom sit or lie in the sun to get their skin tanned. That's not so common.

However, they do have a tradition to stand or sit in the sun in the very early morning about (6-6:30am) to get vitamin D from the sun. They believe the sun in the very early morning is good for health.

Also, doctors here advise that newborn babies should lie in the sun in the very early morning. Or else, their skin might get yellow.

Is it correct to say "I sunbathe in the early morning" in this situation?

However, "sunbathe" often makes people think about "getting brown"

  • The word is expose. To expose themselves to the sun in the early morning. healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-d-from-sun
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 18, 2023 at 16:12
  • 1
    I think this might be partly a matter of opinion, but when I hear "sunbathe" I don't necessarily think "for the purpose of getting tan".
    – stangdon
    Commented Mar 18, 2023 at 16:24
  • If something isn't done or known about in the English-speaking word, there is unlikely to be a distinct English word for it, and people will use the nearest word, in this case "sunbathe" (although there are others like "bask", "tan", "catch some sun", etc, which are a little less relevant but still possible)
    – Stuart F
    Commented Mar 18, 2023 at 18:34
  • I don't think this is a matter of opinion. If you are using standard speech re vitamins, you don't say sunbathe to mean exposure to the sun UNLESS that is how you are receiving your vitiamin D./// 1. Spend time in sunlighthealthline.com/nutrition/…
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 14:34

1 Answer 1


Sure, it's "sunbathing". Any kind of deliberate, non-incidental, exposure of your body to sunlight is sunbathing. The time of day, or whether tanning or burning is likely to occur is immaterial. Since exactly the same radiation causes vitamin D production as causes burning, the reason why you are exposing your skin to this radiation is also irrelevant. You could clarify, for the sake of a person who doesn't know the culture "sunbathing in the morning to boost vitamin D"

There are a couple of more "medical" terms. "Expose (to the sun)" describes the action in a very literal way. And for a prescribed medical process "phototherapy" could be used.

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