As the days get longer, you may find your mood starting to improve, especially as the weather warms up. Sunlight provides Vitamin D, as most of us know, but it also can help regulate other hormones and natural wake/sleep cycles. Take advantage of the sun when it’s out for these amazing mental and physical health benefits that it provides!
- Improves Mood
Being in the sunlight can increase your brain’s release of serotonin, the hormone that can help decrease depression and anxiety and lead to better calm and focus, as well as a boosted mood. Lack of sunlight, especially in winter months, can also lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or seasonal depression. Getting out in the sun for just 15 minutes a few times a week can help avoid seasonal depression. The sun is also shown to increase feelings of relaxation by releasing nitric oxide into your blood. This chemical can help lower blood pressure, making you feel less stressed and more relaxed.
2. Improves Sleep
Getting out in the sun, especially in the mornings, can help your body regulate its natural sleep/wake cycle. Serotonin works hand-in-hand with melatonin, which helps you sleep. Getting enough sunlight can help your body produce the melatonin it needs to get a good nights’ rest. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try just getting out in the sun for an hour in the mornings (with sunscreen, of course!).
3. Boosts overall health
In addition to improving your mood and sleep quality, sunlight has benefits to overall physical health as well. The vitamin D that the sun provides in just 15 minutes is more than what we can get from our normal diets and is essential for bone strength, cell growth, and even immune system function. The sun can also help reduce inflammation, all thanks to vitamin D. In some studies, sunlight was even shown to correlate with longer life expectancy!
Getting some sunlight for just 15 minutes a day, a few times a week, can help you in so many ways. If you find yourself struggling with mental health, sleep, or just overall wellness, try making an effort to get outside when the sun is out to help improve your mood and health.