The sun has been given a bit of a bad reputation in the last few decades. We’re told to be careful, stay out of the sun, not to spend too much time outside on hot days.
It’s true, too much sun can be bad for – sun burns can definitely lead to skin cancer. However, too little sunshine can also be bad for you.
Your Serotonin Levels
Our bodies are designed to react to sunshine and darkness. When the sun sets, our bodies release melatonin, which helps us relax and get ready for sleeping. Sunshine, on the other hand, encourages our bodies to release serotonin, which wakes us up and helps our brains to focus.
That’s why a quick walk around the garden in the afternoon sunshine can immediately refocus us and prevent the onset of that afternoon energy slump.
Some studies have shown that getting the early morning sunlight onto your body can set you up for the rest of the day. Your brain now knows that it’s time to wake up and to be active.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
There is actually a disorder that comes from getting too little sunshine. These days, it is also referred to as major depression with seasonal pattern. The change from summer to winter can impact your mood and mental wellbeing negatively, while the change from winter to summer can have the opposite effect.
In places where the winters are long and dark, people who suffer from this disorder are actually prescribed sunbeds in order to get their hit of sunshine. Other treatment includes the use of a light therapy box.
Our bodies are able to actually create vitamin D when we are hit with the sun’s UV rays. This is one of the best sources of this essential vitamin and it’s completely free to get – all you need to do is stand outside for a few minutes. Without enough Vitamin D in your body, you are likely to suffer from a range of conditions, including rickets.
Vitamin D helps your immune system, increases your supply of blood cells and strengthens your bones. It can also help you to absorb other minerals better, including phosphorus and calcium.
Most people think about either sun tanning or sunburn when they think about going out into the sunshine. Both tanning and burning can be bad for you in the long run. You can get major sunspots, wrinkles and other discolorations in your skin from too much exposure to the sun without protection.
However, just a little bit of sunshine every day can give your skin a boost. Taking ten minutes in the morning, when the sun isn’t as strong, to sit with your skin exposed while enjoying online Bingo or drinking cup of tea will help treat conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and also vitiligo. Just make sure that you only do ten minutes and no more, and that you don’t go out in the hottest and harshest time of the day.
If you’re planning to be outside for more than fifteen minutes, you should always cover up or put sunscreen on.