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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Sunlight's More Important To Your Health Than You Might Think

There are a lot of things that tend to impact the human psyche a lot more strongly than we might imagine. One of the factors that we probably don’t pay enough attention to is the role of sunlight in our life. Here, we’re going to look at the ways that it helps improve our health, and how lacking it can actually diminish our health, as well as what you can do to improve it.

Image Source: Pexels CC0 License

Sunlight helps regulate our mood
Sunlight impacts us in a variety of surprising ways, one of those being just how much of a link it has to mental illness. Sunlight helps us create and regulate mood-boosting hormones such as serotonin. A lack of sunlight has been closely connected to increased levels of stress, anxiety disorders, and even particularly bad forms of depression such as SAD (or seasonal affective disorder.)  This doesn’t mean that sunlight alone is enough to “cure” these issues, but that in combination with other treatments, it can be a serious help.
Vitamin D is crucial
Our body creates vitamin D by absorbing it directly through our skin. Like many of the other big vitamins, vitamin D is crucial for not just one process in the body, for a wide range of them. Vitamin D deficiencies can be some of the most dangerous, leading to issues like rickets and conditions that cause bone pain and tenderness. A lack of vitamin D has even been linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline in our later years.
Light is crucial to how we sleep
We have already mentioned how serotonin can be processed thanks to more exposure to natural sunlight. However, aside from affecting our mental health, serotonin also helps us improve our sleep quality and quantity at night. If we don’t process enough, it can lead to serious issues with sleep. Our bodies are supposed to run by a natural clock, which is regulated in part by our access to natural light and serotonin.
Get more natural light
With the above factors in mind, there is a serious imperative for us to try and get more sunlight into our lives. Taking more time to exercise and walk outside plays a big factor here, but you want to make sure you’re getting more sun inside the home, as well. Invest in a window cleaning and make sure you’re using lighter window treatments to allow more natural light to come in through your windows.
Coping with SAD
As mentioned, seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression that is particularly affected by our access to natural light, amongst other things. In the darker seasons of the year, it’s recommended that you consider using a SAD lamp to give a little extra light.

It might seem like the solutions above are all too simple. However, it’s a fact that a lot of people simply don’t follow them as much as they should. Being cognizant of the problem (and the solutions) makes us a lot more likely to solve them.

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