Sunlight is the energy emitted by the sun. It gives us light to see in the day, makes life on our planet possible. In spite of being the best disinfectant, sunlight also has many health benefits.
When sun rays enter our eyes, it makes us feel alert and fresh. Not only this, it enhances our mood, regulates our appetite, body temperature and the sleep rhythm.
Lets put some light on some other health benefits of sunlight exposure:
· Sunlight exposure lowers blood pressure: Research at University of Edinburg found that skin releases a compound called nitric oxide that lowers the blood pressure, which decreases the risk for heart diseases1..
· Ensures Healthy bones: Sunlight stimulates the receptors in the skin to produce Vitamin D which increases the calcium absorption that makes bones strong and less prone to fractures.
· Elevates the mood: Its natural antidepressant action helps to relieve depressive symptoms. As it stimulates the skin cells to produce mood elevators known as beta endorphins and serotonin.
· Sunlight is good for the skin: It acts as a disinfectant as well has anti fungal and anti bacterial properties. It fastens the healing of skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema, fungal skin infections etc.
· Boost healthy growth in children
· Increases immunity of the body: As sunlight exposure increases the production of white blood cells that are very important in defending the body against infection.
· Decreases the risk of cancer
Let us see how getting an adequate amount of sunlight helps you sleep better.
Sunlight is a regulator of our internal body clock which maintains sleep- wakefulness; It tells the brain that its time to wake up and our sleep patterns are set accordingly. When our eyes receive sunlight , a signal is sent to the brain(pineal gland) for production of sleep inducing hormone (melatonin)2..
How much sun exposure is enough? Pigment of skin known as melanin(body's natural sunscreen) absorb harmful ultra violet rays. Which means dark skinned people need more sunlight exposure than fair skinned people. It is recommended to get at least 30 minutes of sunlight daily, preferably in early morning or late afternoon.
What to do ? Try to spend time outdoors and let your body absorb maximum vitamin D.
Maximize the entry of sunlight in home opening curtains during the day.
You may also apply a good sunscreen with at SPF 30 or above if you have too much sun exposure to prevent from tanning and sunburn.
Posted By: Dr. Himanshu Arora