Okay, before you say anything — WE KNOW that ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a known carcinogen and repeated sun damage can lead to everything from wrinkles to skin cancer. That’s why it’s important to wear protective sunscreen and take precautions when you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the sun. HOWEVER, believe it or not, a little time spent catching some rays can have numerous health benefits — like stronger bones, a healthier immune system, better sleep, and improved mood! In these uncertain times we could all appreciate that kind of boost! Read on to learn more.
One of the most well known benefits of sun exposure is the synthesis of Vitamin D. When sunlight hits our skin it signals our bodies to produce this critical nutrient. Vitamin D is essential both to promote the absorption of calcium and to facilitate normal immune system function. So if you really want to support your immune system — soak up some sun!
In addition to triggering Vitamin D production, bright sunlight can also signal our brains to release hormones and neurotransmitters that affect our sleep patterns and our moods! When the sun sets the change in light tells our bodies to start pumping out melatonin — which is responsible for helping you fall asleep. Without enough sunlight, studies have shown that we won’t produce optimal levels of this vital chemical causing insomnia and throwing our natural rhythm out of whack. Sleep is paramount to your overall health so make sure you get some sun every day to keep your hormones balanced!
In addition to melatonin, UV exposure stimulates release of mood-boosting serotonin and euphoria-inducing dopamine — making us feel calm, focused, and happy. These two chemicals increase our sense of well-being, so sunbathing is good for mental health as well as physical health!
It takes only 5 to 15 minutes to get all the wonderful benefits the sun has to offer. So get out in the fresh air once a day for the good of your health! Just remember: wear your sunscreen for extended sun exposure and maintain at least 6 feet of social distance.