Most people love to spend their days outdoors during summertime, maybe by the beach or at a picnic. Some sunlight on your skin isn’t that bad and is beneficial for both physical and mental health. However, most people are concerned about skin cancer caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun. But, if you protect your skin from UV the right way, there is absolutely nothing to worry about.
There are plenty of benefits from sunlight; they include:
Sunlight Enhances Energy
Sunshine tells our brain when to sleep and to awake. We tend to be energetic during the summer season compared to other seasons since our brains are more activated. To be more motivated and energetic, ensure to spend some time under the sun.
Improves Your Sleep
Melatonin is a hormone created by your body to enhance sleep. Since your body produces it when it’s dark, you are bound to feel sleepy two hours after sunset. This is the reason why your body naturally stays up later in the summer season. An hour of natural light in the morning will improve your sleep. Sunshine controls your circadian rhythm by directing your body when to lower and increase the melatonin levels. Therefore, the more sunlight you get, the better your body can produce melatonin when it gets dark.
Maintains Strong Bones
Sunshine is the best source of vitamin D. Our bodies produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. For people with fair skin, 15 minutes under the sun are enough. Since vitamin D ensures your body maintains calcium that prevents thin, brittle, and misshapen bones, spending some time under the sun maybe your doctor’s recommendation.
Sunshine enhances the production of melatonin which lowers stress levels. When you are exposed to sunshine, your body naturally controls melatonin. Additionally, since you are outside, you are bound to do something such as playing or walking, your body will lower stress due to the added exercise.
Improves Symptoms of Depression
The lack of enough sunlight majorly causes seasonal depression. During the winter season, daytimes are shorter compared to nights. Therefore, people spend more time in the dark than in the light. This causes some people to develop symptoms of depression. When winter is over, and the sun comes back, these symptoms tend to go away in people who stay under sunlight for some time.
Helps in Weight Loss
Spending some 30 minutes outdoors between 8 a.m. and noon is believed to help lose weight. Though there could be other factors, there must be connections between sunlight and weight loss during morning hours.
Sunlight Promotes Your Immune System
Vitamin D is essential for our immune system. Exposure to sunlight ensures enough production of vitamin D hence strengthening your immune system. With a healthy immune system, you are guaranteed prevention of illness, infections among other health issues.
Sunlight Heals Inflammation
Sunshine may help improve inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Sunlight may also help improve autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis.
Some cancers are linked to a lack of vitamin D. However, an increase in your vitamin D level does not guarantee that you can’t get these cancers. But, you can try sunshine to be on the right side.
Sunlight May Help Extend Lifespan
It’s believed that since you get adequate levels of vitamin D while spending some time under the sun, you can extend your life expectancy. Though there is a need for more studies to support this claim, sometimes under the sun is beneficial in many ways.
Effects of Lack of Enough Sunlight
There are some disadvantages linked to lack of enough sunshine. It can have negative effects on both physical and mental health. Lack of enough sunshine is linked to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is developed due to changes in seasons. Lack of enough sunshine can lead to low vitamin D levels, hence developing health challenges such as a weak immune system, weak bones, and teeth.
Remember, both children and adults require vitamin D, and they can all fall short of it. Therefore, everyone requires some time under the sun to avoid its deficiency.
Sunshine Safety Tips
Though sunshine is beneficial to our general health, it’s important to protect yourself while enjoying its benefits to avoid certain challenges such as skin cancer. Here are tips on how you can protect yourself from harmful UV.
- Apply sunscreen: Go for zinc-based sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful sun rays. Ensure that applying sunscreen is your daily routine, even during winter or cloudy days, because you’re still exposed to these harmful rays no matter the season.
- Wear sunglasses: Sunglasses protect your eyes from the harmful effects of the sun and also protect the skin under your eyes from UV. Choose sunglasses that provide 1005% UV protection.
- Cover up: Ensure that you wear a hat to protect your scalp. Wearing some clothes will also ensure that you are protected from UV. Cover your skin as much as possible to avoid conditions that can be caused by UV.
- Avoid the sun at certain times of the day: Avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is when the UV is stronger. Morning hours and evening hours are the best to be under the sun. Besides, you only require 5-15 minutes of sun exposure to benefit health-wise.
Benefits of Sunlight – Final Thought
It’s evident that sunshine is beneficial for our health in many ways. Luckily, everyone can get its exposure for free. Ensure that you spend some minutes under the sun in the morning or evening to boost your vitamin D levels. Remember, enough levels of vitamin D can prevent you from developing certain health challenges.