5 Ways Natural Light Guides Your Health
1. Sunlight reduces jet lag –
When you arrive at a new location, exposure to morning sunlight three days in a row can shift your circadian rhythm by 2.1 hours. This allows you to orient to your new location far quicker. Jet lag can cause GI issues, lack of alertness and frequent sufferers can be at greater risk for cancer and a shorter lifespan.
2. Sunlight may prevent autoimmune disease –
Sometimes you want your immune system to relax otherwise things get out of control.
Exposure to UVA and UVB from sunlight can calm overactive immune responses helping to prevent autoimmune diseases.
3. Sunlight relieves stress –
I’m sure you’ve felt that “ahhh…” feeling getting outside on a nice, sunny day.
Sunlight increases blood levels of endorphins which are the body’s natural opiate. The skin’s melanocytes are fully functioning endorphin receptors1.
4. Sunlight improves your mood –
Good morning sunlight exposure is effective against insomnia, premenstrual syndrome and seasonal affective disorder (SAD)2. By getting sunlight in the day, we produce serotonin which converts to melatonin in the darkness. Melatonin researcher Russel J. Reiter of the University of Texas Health Science Center says,
The light we get from being outside on a summer day can be a thousand times brighter than we’re ever likely to experience indoors. For this reason, it’s important that people who work indoors get outside periodically, and moreover that we all try to sleep in total darkness. This can have a major impact on melatonin rhythms and can result in improvements in mood, energy, and sleep quality.3
5. Sunlight gives you vitamin D –
The mighty vitamin D, while available as a supplement, there’s no better way to get it than from our life giving sun. To the tune of Bruce Springsteen’s “War”:Sing it like The Boss: Vitamin D! What is it good for? Absolutely everything. Say it again. #vitaminD Click To Tweet
Beyond all the benefits attributed to sunlight above, here are some ways that natural light guides your health with the value of vitamin D…
- skeletal health and reduced risk of fractures
- may reduce the risk of colorectal and other cancers
- may prevent vascular events such as stroke or heart attack
- fights infections
- Aids in skin conditions like psoriasis
- upregulated 291 different genes that control up to 80 different metabolic processes
When it comes to sun exposure, the dose makes poison. Too much sun exposure can lead to burns, premature aging of the skin and potentially skin cancer. It differs per individual and condition.
Still, be wary of sunscreens, many are filled with other toxins, endocrine disruptors and other chemicals far more likely to cause cancer than the sun itself.
The most common, deadly skin cancer, however, is melanoma. It’s curious that most melanomas occur in the least sun exposed areas AND occupational sun exposure decreases risk.
Natural Light Guides Your Health Additional References:
The Effects of Light on the Human Body by Richard J. Wurtman (PDF)
Further readings on the science of light, biophysics, electromagnetism in health:
(In order of simplest to most complex)