If the sun disappeared, animals, plants and people would die. Without the sun, plants couldn’t make nutrients and all living things on the planet would starve. And without sunlight, our bodies couldn’t make the Vitamin D we depend on to live healthy lives.
Sunlight simply makes us feel happier.
UV always gets a bad rap, because too much of it can lead to skin cancer. However, UV is important because UV light absorbed through your skin produces Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays many roles in your body, including promoting serotonin production – so our bodies produce more serotonin in the summer which regulates appetite, sleep, memory, and mood. Sunlight also shuts off the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone produced at night that makes you feel drowsy. So constant exposure to sunlight can help your body maintain its circadian rhythm – a 24-hour cycle that regulates biochemical, physiological, and behavioral processes and makes you feel tired when it’s dark outside.
What can sunlight do for you?
Mary-Ann Shearer, best-selling author of books like “Perfect Health The Natural Way”, interviewed a 40 year old suffering woman who had taken her doctor’s advice. She had been on iron tablets and eating liver for years. But she remained anemic and her health continued to decline. Her daily habit was to work from 07h00 to 20h00 each day, including weekends.
She never went outside. Shearer advised she toss the iron tablets, stop eating the liver, change other aspects of her diet, and get 20 minutes of sunlight a day. Within 1 month, her iron levels had dramatically increased, the quality of her skin, muscle tone and overall health improved.
Getting enough sunlight:
- Maintains strong bones
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Improves skin and helps improve skin problems
- Helps assimilate food
- Stimulates endocrine activity (the endocrine system controls almost all bodily functions)
- Helps with hormonal difficulties
- Helps improve your mood
- Accelerates hair growth
- Improves eyes
- Gives you better sleep
- Prevents diseases
It’s clear that if you get enough sunlight, you’ll feel healthier and be happier. Studies also show that just having an office with windows that get in natural light, help people to work better.
How much sunlight do you need?
It’s difficult to quantify how much since skin pigmentation affects how much radiation your skin absorbs: The darker the skin, the more it’s protected against skin cancer but the less able it is to absorb UV-B rays. It also depends on how much skin is exposed and the time of day. If you’re fair skinned and sunning yourself outside in a bathing suit at noon, you only need a few minutes without sunscreen. If you’re already tan or of Hispanic origin, you need maybe 15 to 20 minutes. Black skin may require six times the sun exposure to make the same vitamin D levels as a very fair-skinned person.
To get the full benefits of natural sunlight, you need to remove contact lenses and sunglasses, not wear sunblock, and expose as much of your skin as possible. It’s probably best to get your daily dose before 10h00 and after 16h00 to avoid burning. Standing in shade counts but getting sunlight through windows does not.
Tips for busy work days
- The good news is that sunlight can be stored in the body, so if you have periods of time when you can’t get into natural sunlight, have a “storage” day. For instance, if you can’t get sunlight during the week, spend 2 hours or so in sunlight on the weekend.
- Pop outside the office for quick 5 minute breaks, three times a day.
- Make your mobile phone calls outside.
- Get up 15 minutes earlier each day. Take a brisk walk outside and kill two birds with one stone.
The benefits to sunlight are simply too important to ignore. So come on …lets get motivated and make more time for natural sunlight.