You have likely heard about how the sun’s rays can cause damage to your skin. However did you know the right balance of the sun can provide mood-lifting benefits?
Sunlight and darkness will trigger the release of hormones in your brain. Exposure to the sun can increase the release of serotonin. This chemical is associated with mood improvement and can help a person feel more focused and calmer. During the night, darker lighting helps to trigger the brain to create melatonin, another hormone. This is the hormone that helps you sleep.
If you buy solar panels for your home, you know the sun is required to make them work. Sunlight is also required to ensure your body works correctly and that your hormones are balanced. If you do not get enough sun exposure, then your serotonin levels may fall. Lower levels of serotonin are related to depression.
However, a mood boost is not the only benefit of getting more exposure to the sun. There are a few other health benefits, which can be found below.
Sunlight’s Effect on Mental Health
Reduced exposure to the sun is associated with reduced serotonin levels, which can cause serious cases of depression that follow a seasonal pattern. The light-induced effects caused by serotonin are triggered by the sunlight that enters your eye. When this happens, the sunlight cues certain parts of the retina which will cause serotonin to be released. Most people are more likely to experience this type of depression during the winter when the days are much shorter.
Because of this connection, one of the primary treatments for seasonal depression is light therapy, which is also called phototherapy. You can purchase a light therapy box and use it at home. Exposure to light from the box will mimic the natural sun and help stimulate the brain. This ensures the right amounts of serotonin and melatonin are created.
Exposure to sunlight can be beneficial for many people, including those with any type of depression, PMDD, or pregnant women who are depressed. Panic attacks and anxiety-related disorders have also been linked to reduced sunlight and changing seasons.
Additional Benefits of Sunlight
Making sure you get between five and 15 minutes of sunlight on your face, hands, and arms, two to three times per week is enough to enjoy the vitamin D that the sun provides. Along with improving mood and reducing stress, there are a few other reasons to catch some rays, as well. Keep reading to learn what those benefits are.
Build Stronger Bones
Exposure to UVB radiation will cause your skin to produce vitamin D. The vitamin D created thanks to the sun plays a huge role in bone health. Lower levels of vitamin D are linked to rickets in some children and bone-wasting diseases, such as osteomalacia and osteoporosis.
While too much sunlight may contribute to skin cancers, a moderate amount has preventative benefits for cancer. People who live in an area with fewer daylight hours are much more likely to have certain cancers than those who live in areas where there is more sun during the day. Some cancers that you may be more susceptible to include prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, and others.
Healing Skin Conditions
According to information from WHO, exposure to the sun can help treat and heal certain skin conditions. For example, doctors have stated that UV radiation exposure will help treat things like acne, jaundice, eczema, and psoriasis. Even though light therapy is not right for everyone, it can be beneficial for some. Your dermatologist can help you decide if light treatments are going to benefit your skin concerns.
When it comes to sun and health benefits, there is an array of things to consider. In most cases, exposure to the sun will provide benefits that a person will enjoy, and that can help to improve their overall health and well-being. Being informed is the best way to know why sun exposure is so important.