Did you know? Sunshine
Sunshine is something that we never take for granted. In Cleveland we have seasons of gray gloomy skies that affect us greatly. It is only when the sunshine becomes more consistent, and the temperatures are warmer that we fully appreciate the benefits of getting sunshine. Sunshine boosts your body’s level of serotonin, which is a chemical that improves your mood and helps you stay calm and focused. It is also know as Vitamin D, an essential vitamin to our health.
But did you know about all of the benefits of sunshine?
- It improves your sleep – our body creates a hormone called melatonin that is critical to helping you sleep. Because your body starts producing it when it’s dark, you usually start to feel sleepy two hours after the sun sets, which is one of the reasons our bodies naturally stay up later in the summer.
- Sunshine reduces stress- Melatonin also lowers stress reactivity and being outside will help your body naturally regulate melatonin, which can help reduce your stress level. Additionally, because you’re often doing something active when you’re outside (walking, playing, etc.), that extra exercise also helps to lower stress.
- Help for our bones – One of the best (and easiest) ways to get vitamin D is by being outside. Our bodies produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight—about 15 minutes in the sun a day is adequate if you’re fair skinned. And since Vitamin D helps your body maintain calcium and prevent brittle, thin, or misshapen bones, soaking in sun may be just what the doctor ordered.
- May help with keeping weight down – Getting outside for 30 minutes sometime between 8 a.m. and noon has been linked to weight loss. There, of course, could be other factors to this, but it seems there’s a connection between early morning sunshine exposure and weight loss.
- Supports and strengthens immune system – Vitamin D is also critical for your immune system, and with consistent exposure to sunlight, you can help strengthen it. A healthy immune system can help reduce the risk of illness, infections, some cancers, and mortality after surgery.
- Fights off depression – It’s not just in your head; there’s a scientific reason being in the sunshine improves your mood. Sunshine boosts your body’s level of serotonin, which is a chemical that improves your mood and helps you stay calm and focused. Increased exposure to natural light may help ease the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder–a change in mood that typically occurs in the fall and winter months when there are fewer hours of daylight
- May improve a longer life – A study that followed 30,000 Swedish women revealed that those who spent more time in the sun lived six months to two years longer than those with less sun exposure. More research needs to be done in this area, but it’s something scientists are continuing to study.
****Please note: This information is just that, and it is nothing more. I am not a medical person, just a researcher of health issues and this is not meant to be medical advise.