Natural sunlight is a free resource that comes with numerous benefits. It comprises three components: visible light, ultraviolet light and infrared light. Together, they offer several health benefits that you can enjoy.
Let’s explore them here.
The Sunshine Vitamin
Exposure to natural sunlight boosts vitamin D levels within the body. Ultraviolet B rays hit cholesterol within the skin and stimulate production of vitamin D.
Vitamin D plays numerous roles in the body. It stimulates absorption of calcium and phosphorus which are important for bone health. Low vitamin D levels are linked to osteoporosis, cancer and even death.
Considering vitamin D is not easily found in the food we eat, the sun is a good alternative with an unlimited supply. You only need to get out and walk in the sun.
Alleviates Seasonal Depression
There’s a strong link between lack of sunlight and depression. During sunny seasons, more people report a better mood. Sunlight stimulates the brain to produce natural antidepressants like serotonin.
Seasonal affective disorder, a mood disorder that occurs yearly during the winter months is linked to reduced sunlight. Patients often report low energy, loss of interest and excessive sleeping.
Natural sunlight boosts feel good hormones within the body and improves overall mood.
Improves Immune Function
Natural sunlight is important for immune cell activation. Vitamin D, made from the sun, is responsible for cell activation.
This vitamin stimulates T-cells, a type of white blood cell to become active. The active T-cells initiate an immune reaction aimed at killing bacteria and other pathogens
Lack of vitamin D causes a poor immune response as T-cells remain dormant. This is means, infections can spread easily and cause more damage
Improves Blood Pressure
Hypertension is a serious health concern worldwide. Fortunately, nature is doing its best to help. Natural sunlight is good for your blood pressure.
The ultraviolet rays from the sun stimulate the release of nitric oxide from the skin. Nitric oxide makes blood vessels wider which decreases blood pressure.
Researchers recommend moderate exposure to sunlight for optimum blood pressure control. This benefit also reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
Natural sunlight controls our circadian rhythms. This is why naturally we’re diurnal creatures; We’re active during the day and we sleep at night.
Sunlight reinforces this circadian rhythm and improves sleep. This is achieved by improving melatonin production, a hormone that stimulates sleep.
The circadian rhythm is also linked to numerous physiological processes like appetite, body temperature and overall energy levels.
For the best sleep, researchers recommend soaking in the morning sun. This reduces melatonin levels in the morning and improves its production when sleep is due. The morning sun also stimulates cortisol production making you active for the day.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
If you’re stressed or anxious, a 30-minute walk out in the sun may be exactly what you need. We already know natural sunlight improves mood, however, it also optimizes stress hormones to help you cope with stress and anxiety
It’s true staring directly at the sun is bad for your eyes. However, vision improves with natural lighting. Artificial lighting is linked to increased eye strain and eye damage.On the other hand, natural light increases dopamine production which improves the overall health of your eyes.
Have you ever tried getting some serious work done in a poorly lit room? It’s almost impossible. This is why natural sunlight is important.
Natural light improves focus levels making it the best lighting for workstations and study areas. The huge glass windows in libraries are not only for saving lighting costs but also improving outcomes for library users.
Solar panels generate electrical energy from natural sunlight. The energy is renewable and free of harmful by-products. There are no fumes to cripple your lungs or chemical waste to harm your body. The clean energy is good for your health and the environment.
Natural sunlight is good for your body and mind. It’s free medicine that is accessible to everyone. Therefore, don’t let it go to waste. Get moderate exposure and start enjoying the benefits.