We had a quick glimpse of what summer would feel like when we had a heatwave a couple of weeks ago and it finally felt like things were getting back to normal. I don’t know about you but waking up with the sun peeking through my blinds just sets a different tone to my day. I feel ready to seize the day and it is an instant mood booster. There is science behind this so let’s look at the many benefits of sunshine:
When the sun enters our eyes through the retina this releases serotonin in our bodies which is the chemical responsible for stabilizing our mood and happiness. People who suffer from seasonal affective disorder often find their mental health improves in the summer. In fact, one of the main treatments for seasonal affective disorder is light therapy. Light therapy mimics natural sunlight and stimulates the brain to release serotonin. So, whilst the sun is out for a few weeks in the summer, grab this opportunity and soak up that vitamin D.
Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin and helps to support your system by fighting off harmful bacteria and viruses. It also plays a role in regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus for normal growth and healthy bones. It can help prevent bone diseases such as osteoporosis in adults and rickets in children. Osteoporosis refers to the softening of bones and is one of the main causes of fractures and broken bones. To learn more about vitamin D click here.
Soak up the sun for that glowing healthy looking skin! Furthermore, the UV light from the sun can help people with eczema and psoriasis who have rashes and lesions to push the healing process along. Whilst we are talking about the sun, it is important to mention that the sun can cause damage to the skin so make sure to always apply a thick layer of SPF. It is important to wear SPF every single day, even in the winter. After only a month of wearing SPF every day, I have noticed that my skin is smoother, softer and my acne scars have started to fade!
A Goodnight’s Sleep
Studies have shown that getting up to an hour of sunlight can help you to sleep better. The more sunlight exposure you get, the better your body will produce melatonin when it is time to sleep. Melatonin also reduces stress and anxiety. A placebo-controlled trial administered melatonin to reduce pre-surgery anxiety and the patients who took the melatonin before surgery experienced a 13-point reduction in anxiety.
The fat cells just beneath the skin actually reduce in size when exposed to the sun so essentially this means our cells don’t store as much fat. On the other side of this, less sunlight causes the cells to store more fat for warmth.
Enjoy the few weeks of sun we get every year and experience the many benefits of soaking up the sun. Also, remember to protect your skin and be safe when you go out in the sun. Here is to hoping for a summer full of sun, no rain and feeling your happiest and healthiest!
By Pooja Depala