The Health Benefits Of Sunshine
The sun often gets a bad wrap, known for its dangers and harmful UV rays you are encouraged to stay out of direct sunlight and to cover up to protect your skin. While this is, of course, prudent there are multiple scientifically proven health benefits of sunshine that will have you looking for homes for sale in warm weather climates so you can reap the benefits all year round.
An overwhelming majority of people are considered to be Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is very important for our bodies as it helps to reduce inflammation and modulate cell growth. Vitamin D also helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body which is required for keeping bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. A lack of Vitamin D in children can lead to deformities such as rickets and debilitating bone complaints in adults such as osteoporosis.
Vitamin D is also a critical nutrient for your immune system. Exposure to sunlight increases your Vitamin D intake and in turn, helps to strengthen your immune system. A strong immune system can help reduce the risk of illnesses and infections.
While Vitamin D can be found in your food it is hard to glean sufficient amounts from diet alone. The sun is the best natural source of Vitamin D and it only takes 5-15 minutes of exposure to the sun a few times a week to start taking effect. While exposing yourself to sunlight can be harmful, so can avoiding it completely. Be safe in the sun and ensure you use ample sunscreen to allow you to keep your Vitamin D sources stocked high.
It has long been proven that natural sunlight can improve your mood. Sunshine will help to boost your body’s levels of serotonin. Serotonin is linked to appetite, mood, and sleep and it is thought that the lack of sunlight leads to lower levels of serotonin and this then leads to feelings of low mood or depression.
Furthermore, physicians are seeing more and more patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) also known as ‘winter depression’. Essentially, SAD is a disorder that affects people seasonally, typically in winter when the hours of natural daylight are reduced. Common complaints include low mood, fatigue, and irritability. While SAD is still not fully understood it is thought that the lack of sunlight might stop the hypothalamus from working properly which in turn affects the production of serotonin, melatonin, and also affects the body’s internal clock.
The body needs melatonin as this is what helps to make you sleepy. It is thought that those who suffer from SAD produce too much melatonin. Both melatonin and serotonin are of course essential for keeping your mood elevated and your mental wellbeing intact. The body’s internal clock, or its circadian rhythm, is regulated by sunlight. It times events such as when we wake and go to sleep. It is thought therefore that lower levels of light during the winter months affect the circadian rhythm and this then leads to symptoms of SAD.