There is an ongoing debate on whether or not sun exposure is good for your skin.

Due to this discussion, people are unsure of the sun’s benefits due to skin cancer and premature aging. Don’t completely shun the sun because it has numerous health benefits going beyond vitamin D.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended 1,000 IUs of vitamin D daily, which is equivalent to 10-15 minutes of sun exposure. Intervals amounting to 10-15 minutes of sun exposure every day may give you sufficient vitamin D, not only for skin health but overall health.

Here are some reasons why intervals of daily exposure to the sun may increase your body’s total health.

Achieving the best sleep

Getting enough daily exposure to the sun is vital to your body’s circadian rhythm. This rhythm connects everything from physical and mental health to behavioral changes. Your body follows a 24-hour cycle that reacts to the presence and disappearance of the sun. Morning sunlight is essential to help you sleep at night because natural daylight allows your body to restart its active phase. Going for a walk and absorbing sunlight will give your body the signal it’s daytime. This exercise will jump start your metabolic processes and will wake your senses up. Plenty of night-shift workers experience health difficulties due to a messed up circadian rhythm. It’s best to expose yourself to light at the right time of day.

Sunlight as a mood enhancer

Regular exposure to sunlight may naturally increase serotonin levels in your body, making you more active, alert and happy. Exposure to bright light is one of the ways you can increase your serotonin levels without the use of drugs. Research published by the National Institute of Health (NIH) showed a positive correlation between the development of serotonin and the hours spent under the sun. A sample size of 101 healthy men showed low levels of serotonin in the brain during winter due to the lack of sun exposure. Sunlight gathered in the Summer equips your body with enough vitamin D3 to last you until fall and yield a greater production of vitamin D. Higher levels of vitamin D leads to higher serotonin levels making you feel happier and more energetic.
Sunlight lowers your blood pressure

When skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays, it releases a compound called nitric oxide, capable of reducing blood pressure. In a study conducted by Edinburgh University, dermatologists examined the blood pressure of 34 volunteers exposed to light sources with and without UV. The results showed a drop in blood pressure for those exposed to UV.

With a sufficient supply of vitamin D and the right amount of UV, your body will have enough energy to combat stress and illnesses.

A healthy amount of vitamin D supports bone growth and prevents diseases such as colon and breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, inflammation, and depression.

Live a life of joy and wellness with the perfect amount of sunshine.

Aimee Harris-Newon, Psy.D., D.A.B.P.S., C.Ht


The Center for Integrative and Functional Health and Wellness

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Bloomingdale, IL 60108

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