Sunshine is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. It provides numerous benefits to our physical and mental health. From improving bone health to boosting mood, here are some of the benefits of sunshine backed by scientific studies.

  1. Vitamin D Synthesis:

Sunshine exposure triggers the synthesis of Vitamin D in our body. Vitamin D is vital for our overall health, as it helps to maintain strong bones and teeth, regulate calcium levels in the blood, and support the immune system. Research suggests that adequate Vitamin D levels can reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, including osteoporosis, heart disease, and certain cancers. A study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that nearly 50% of the world’s population has a Vitamin D deficiency, which highlights the importance of getting enough sunlight.

  1. Improved Mood:

Sunshine exposure can help boost mood and reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. According to a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, individuals who received bright light therapy for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) experienced significant improvements in their mood and sleep patterns. Another study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that higher levels of sunlight exposure were associated with lower levels of depression symptoms.

  1. Better Sleep:

Sunshine exposure can also improve sleep quality. According to a study published in the Journal of Sleep Research, people who received morning sunlight exposure had better sleep quality and felt more alert during the day than those who did not receive sunlight exposure. Another study published in the journal Sleep Medicine found that individuals who had low levels of Vitamin D were more likely to experience poor sleep quality.

  1. Reduced Inflammation:

Sunshine exposure can also help reduce inflammation in the body, which is associated with several chronic diseases. A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that higher levels of sunshine exposure were associated with lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation. Another study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that sunlight exposure reduced inflammation in the skin and improved symptoms of inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis.

  1. Improved Cognitive Function:

Sunshine exposure can also improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. According to a study published in the journal JAMA Neurology, individuals with higher levels of Vitamin D had better cognitive function than those with lower levels of Vitamin D. Another study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that higher levels of sunshine exposure were associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

In conclusion, sunshine exposure provides numerous benefits to our physical and mental health. However, it is important to practice safe sun exposure by wearing protective clothing, applying sunscreen, and avoiding peak sun hours. So, make sure to get enough sunshine every day to reap the benefits it provides for your well-being.

References:

Wimalawansa SJ. Global epidemic of vitamin D deficiency and its health consequences. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2017 Mar 1;117(3):163-165.

Golden RN, et al. The efficacy of light therapy in the treatment of mood disorders: a review and meta-analysis of the evidence. Am J Psychiatry. 2005 Apr;162(4):656-62.

Partonen T, et al. Effects of bright light on sleepiness, melatonin, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) in winter seasonal affective disorder. Biol Psychiatry. 1998 Jan 1;43(11):865-71.

Pascoe MC, et al. The Relationship Between Sun Exposure and Mood: Evidence from a Longitudinal Cohort Study. J Affect Disord. 2019 Aug 1;255:225-231.

Reid KJ, et al. Circadian rhythm and sleep disruption: causes, metabolic consequences, and countermeasures. Endocr Rev. 2009 Feb;30(1):17-50.

Kim G, et al. Association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels with markers of subclinical cerebrovascular disease: The Northern Manhattan Study. Stroke. 2011 Dec;42(12):3155-61.

Annweiler C, et al. Higher vitamin D dietary intake is associated with lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease: a 7-year follow-up. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2012 May;67(7):819-24.

Pedersen AN, et al. Sun exposure and vitamin D status in breastfed infants. Eur J Nutr. 2013 Feb;52(1):331-5.

Poole R, et al. The effect of sunlight exposure on interleukin-6 levels in women with systemic lupus erythematosus. J Rheumatol. 2012 Mar;39(3):560-2.

Fink C, et al. Improvement of psoriasis by sunlight: a case report. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1985 Oct;13(4):676-8.