In the modern era, we spend much less time outside than we used to, and this has reduced our exposure to the sun. The sun can provide us with a wide variety of health benefits that many of us could really do with.
Probably the most commonly known benefit of exposure to sunlight is Vitamin D. Vitamin D is the main vitamin used to keep your bones strong and healthy. It is obtained through exposure to the ultraviolet rays from the sun, and the recommended amount of sun exposure to get a healthy amount of vitamin D is only around 15 minutes.
Serotonin, also known as the happy chemical, is increased in the brain when the body is exposed to sunlight. This increase in serotonin can help enhance your mood throughout the day and can help to battle seasonal depression. Seasonal depression can cause tiredness, over sleeping, overeating and reduced energy, so it is important that take any opportunity to get sunlight in winter and autumn when you can, as these are the most effected seasons.
Exposure to sunlight helps to maintain a healthy body clock, which in course helps to improve your sleep patterns and overall sleep quality. When there is an absence of sunlight, our brain begin to make melatonin which is the chemical that prepares us for sleep, and typically this takes about two hours before you should be ready to sleep. It also works the other way around when waking up in the morning. By waking up and exposing yourself to sunlight, you can help to set your body clock correctly.
These benefits can help to improve your quality of life, so it is important to consider implementing some changes in order to reap these benefits. We recently discussed the benefits of sunlight and other ways to better improve your wellbeing in a modern world on our latest podcast. Be sure to go over to the podcast page and check it out.