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HEALTH BENEFITS OF SUNLIGHT FOR HORMONES AND SLEEP

Getting more sunlight can be all you need to have more energy, have better sleep, and ultimately attain your ideal weight. Better physical, mental, and emotional wellness is one of the advantages of sunlight. It is one of several factors that affect our health.

We need to be able to get up and start working right away. Despite our greatest efforts and extensive to-do lists, we might not always succeed. When we lack energy or experience migraines brought on by hormonal imbalances, we could find ourselves sleeping in.

Poor sleep, hormonal imbalances, or stress can be brought on by a variety of factors. But sunshine exposure, one of the most organic (and affordable!) methods to feel better, is frequently disregarded. The advantages of exposure to morning sunlight are supported by science. It’s not just about getting you out of bed, either!

The benefits of early sunlight go beyond just providing us with our daily vitamin D. The good news is that exposure to morning sunlight, even indoors, has numerous health benefits throughout the year.

Essential Benefits of Sunlight

People often link the advantages of vitamin D with sunlight. But despite having high vitamin D levels, humans still require morning sunlight. When the sun rose, our forefathers would get up and go to sleep. The human body was not designed to be active for more than 18 hours every day. We often burn the candle at both ends, too, because we are the modern moms we are.

When our biological clocks are in harmony with the sun, there are numerous advantages for both our physical and emotional health. UV (ultraviolet) rays are what are actually being discussed when we talk about sunshine. UVA and UVB sunlight are the two types to which we are exposed.

  • The creation of vitamin D is aided by UVB rays, but glass blocks them.
  • UVA passes through windows and provides additional advantages of sunlight.

Enhancement of Physical Health

Morning sun exposure not only increases vitamin D levels, but it also affects other biological functions of the body. These consist of:

Immune Cell Regulation

The immune system is equipped with a vast range of cells. The immune system may be boosted or repressed when one cell fails to function or is created in unbalanced quantities. This may result in cancer, inflammatory diseases, or autoimmune diseases.

T-regulatory cells can become more active when exposed to UV light. These immune cells are responsible for calming down other cell types. People who develop autoimmune diseases frequently lack T-regulatory cells.

You can safeguard your general health by assisting the immune system’s capacity to control itself. Additionally, it guards against chronic inflammation and neurological conditions like lupus.

Mood and Mental Health

The advantages of early sunlight go far beyond certain indicators of physical health. Your emotions, mental health, and sense of stress may all be negatively impacted. Lack of exposure to bright light causes those with seasonal affective disorder to experience symptoms.

Low vitamin D levels are associated with a higher risk of depression. But it’s not only vitamin D.

Reduced sun exposure is associated with cognitive decline, independent of dietary intake. Several factors contribute to this. Circadian rhythm is directly impacted by natural sunshine. This has an impact on various things, including levels of serotonin and melatonin, as well as how the hypothalamus functions in the brain.

A chemical called serotonin encourages feelings of tranquillity, equilibrium, and wellbeing. Serotonin can’t create enough melatonin to trigger a regular sleep cycle later if it doesn’t receive adequate exposure to light waves during the day. Chronic fatigue and later starts due to inability to sleep reduce the amount of early solar exposure. Stress, low mood, and neurotransmitter imbalance combine to form a vicious cycle.

In addition, the hypothalamic brain network affects:

  • Blood pressure
  • Immune activation
  • Body temperature regulation
  • Energy levels 
  • Hormonal system 
  • Digestive function

Consider your brain’s power supply as the morning sun. If you don’t charge the battery in your laptop, you can’t expect it to function. Your brain will struggle to identify the time of day and the kind of signals it should send to the bodily systems if it routinely doesn’t receive signals from light waves, especially in the morning. This may cause a breakdown in one or more places and give you the impression that your entire body is malfunctioning.

The amount of blood accessible to the brain is strongly influenced by the wavelengths of light as well. According to studies, light treatment enhances the blood flow to the brain. Reduced blood flow in the brain has been linked to cognitive issues, depressive symptoms, restless nights, and even reversible age-related issues.

Metabolic Function

Poor glucose metabolism is linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. When the body is unable to utilise and break down glucose, this may occur. The process is influenced by the insulin response, other hormones, and a variety of other factors.

Blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and a number of other health problems are all linked to metabolic syndrome. Around the world, 20–30% of people struggle with this disorder. Sunlight and UV radiation, however, can be beneficial since they support healthy metabolic activity.

Ongoing research is being done to determine the precise kind, volume, and range of advantages. Receiving morning sunlight on a regular basis helps to normalise circadian cycles, which can promote hunger regulation and enhance metabolic parameters generally.

Nitric Oxide

The skin releases nitric oxide into the bloodstream when exposed to indoor or outdoor sunshine. This substance causes arteries to widen. Blood pressure decreases during dilation.

Even in those without blood pressure issues or cardiovascular illness, ongoing stress can raise blood pressure. Healthy blood pressure levels are beneficial to the heart and may lessen the incidence of headaches.

Better Skin

Additionally beneficial to skin health is UVB rays. Sunlight is beneficial for autoimmune-related, inflammatory skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. The skin can develop scaly, flaky patches due to psoriasis’s too fast skin cell growth. This excessive development can be slowed down, and UVB light can also reduce inflammation.

Targeted phototherapy is another method used by scientists to treat psoriasis without the risk of sunburn. These similar anti-inflammatory actions may be able to alleviate the signs and symptoms of eczema by addressing vitamin D insufficiency on the skin.

Heme-oxygenase

Heme-oxygenase is a substance that is stimulated by sunlight on skin cells. UV exposure causes cells to become stressed, which sets off this reaction. Nevertheless, not all cellular stress is detrimental.

Here, moderate sun exposure can result in an increase in the formation of iron and carbon monoxide. Although carbon monoxide is lethal to breathe, it suppresses the synthesis of inflammatory cytokine cells when transformed in modest amounts by the cells. Thus, exposure to the sun activates a natural anti-inflammatory cell response.

Sleep Quality

We already know that melatonin is produced in response to serotonin. The brain may not produce enough melatonin if it is asleep early in the day. Insomnia or difficulty staying asleep all through the night could result from this.

Melatonin can be used as a supplement, but that won’t make things better forever. To keep the rest of the body on a healthy schedule, our brain needs to receive the correct signals from light waves. Even only sleep difficulties can lead to several health issues. They might be the cause of the following problems:

  • Diabetes
  • Immune system problems
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Different types of depression

Unbalanced circadian rhythms are difficult to correct unless the cause is identified. The timing of the sun is related to the biological clock. By adapting your schedule to the time the sun has already set, you may simply control your body’s internal clock.

Of course, this presents difficulties for those who work shifts or for parents of young children. Still, it’s not impossible! Below, we’ll go into greater detail on how to implement these modifications.

Obtaining morning sunlight 

It might be challenging to add something new to the day when we are already stressed out or busy. There are simple, effective ways to include early sunlight exposure into routines already in place. The small change to a morning routine is more than worth it for the reward.

We don’t just need to expose our skin to the sun in order to gain from it. We must also open our eyes! However, I’m not referring to gazing directly at the sun.

How the brain interprets information, including light, can be significantly influenced by the way light enters the system through the eyes. UV rays are absorbed by the skin, but our eyes also communicate with the brain. These advantages may be hindered by the use of sunglasses.

You can occasionally close your eyes if you’re sensitive to strong light. But as you become used to it, you’ll develop a tolerance for it. The early morning sun can feel blinding to people who spend a lot of time indoors or whose sun exposure occurs more frequently later in the day. The brain, hormones, and total body balance that is required to reset the internal clock, however, are brought about by this kind of light.

If you enjoy getting up early, consider waking up a little before the kids and spending the first 10-15 minutes of the day outside with a book or your favourite beverage. Even if you don’t enjoy the mornings, a lovely day with plenty of sunshine may significantly lift your spirits.

Sunlight’s Benefits: Who Needs It?

Everyone has to be outside in the sun! literally every person. How much sunlight an individual needs, however, cannot be determined universally. The variables that affect vitamin D absorption from sunshine vary greatly depending on:

  • The time of year
  • Diet
  • Skin type
  • Other health factors
  • Latitude

Some of us may have poor sun tolerance, sunburn easily, or just generally be sensitive to it.

Antioxidants and phytonutrients in particular can help boost UV tolerance through dietary changes. This demonstrates how dysregulation in one area, such as food or inadequate sunlight, can amplify its impact in other areas.

I understand that finding balance in all aspects of your life can be challenging, especially when you have young children, are a parent, and work. But when we are consistent, even tiny moves toward balance can have a significant influence. Daily attendance at the sunrise can improve a variety of things, including digestion, stress levels, mood, and sleep.

Whether you’re a well-rested executive, a burnt-out mother, or a late-night college student, you need sunlight exposure. Everybody needs early morning sun exposure to support all of the essential bodily functions that go unnoticed until they start to malfunction. Supplementing with vitamin D can benefit many aspects of health, but it cannot take the place of sunlight.

Only your dermatologist is qualified to evaluate your health and give medical advice. However, for many people, both sun protection and moderate sun exposure are safe. Common causes of melanoma include excessive sun exposure during youth, various health issues, the skin microbiota, and more.

Outdoor Sunlight

The early morning sunshine has other advantages. The generation of vitamin D is influenced by numerous variables and isn’t always as crucial in the morning. However, in addition to early sunlight outside, you also get fresh air, which has a lot of advantages on its own!

For those who are sensitive to heat, summertime outdoor sun exposure may be made simpler by morning sunlight. Even in the cold, wearing protective clothing and keeping the face and eyes open will provide some of the same advantages. The brain will still receive the message from the dazzling morning rays through the eyes!

Indoor Sunlight

Unfortunately, obtaining vitamin D through a window is not possible. Glass prevents a particular UV radiation that causes the body to convert cholesterol into vitamin D. UV light’s ability to cause the body to create vitamin D is similarly impacted by sunscreen. However, as we’ve already shown, even without vitamin D, early sunlight is beneficial for health.

When going outdoors isn’t an option consider the following:

It’s not necessary to spend hours sitting in the sun. Even just 5 to 10 minutes of regular morning sunlight each day can start to improve the internal body clock for people who are new to sunlight exposure or are short on time.

Bring your small children along if you have any! This does not have to be done alone. When I started spending every morning with my family sitting in the sun, I saw a significant improvement in my health. They also received the same health advantages that I did. If you can’t get them all outside, you can all sit together in front of a window or doorway that gets enough of early light.

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