The Health Benefits of Natural Sunlight

April 22, 2021

From being helpful to photographers and increasing your home’s perceived value, natural light has multiple benefits. Generally, most people prefer enjoying the warmth of the sun instead of investing in heating systems. Natural light also makes offices more desirable to work in, allows you to invest in green energy sources like solar panels, etc.

If your space lacks adequate natural light, here are the top reasons why you need to address the issue. 

More Vitamin D

When you bask in the sun, your skin absorbs Vitamin D. This is a critical nutrient that strengthens your bones, helps with weight regulation, and reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease. 

It is worth noting that you get the same amount of Vitamin D, whether indoors or outdoors. This is why you need to ensure that your spaces get sufficient sunlight.

Better Mental Health

Decreased exposure to sunlight reduces the synthesis of serotonin. As a result, you are more likely to experience depression, albeit seasonally. 

When natural light goes through the eye, it influences the synthesis of serotonin. Specifically, sunlight cues the retina, which in turn stimulates the production of serotonin. This means that you are more likely to suffer from this type of depression during the cold season.

For this reason, one of the prevalent treatments for seasonal depression is phototherapy, where the patient gets exposed to natural light. This inhibits the production of melatonin while increasing the synthesis of serotonin.

Better Sleep

There is a close link between mental health and quality of sleep. It is not a coincidence that people with a sound mind get better sleep than those without. 

Since natural light improves your mental health, it can also significantly impact the quality of your sleep. When you receive an adequate amount of sleep, you can perform better at your workplace or business.

Lower Health Risks

If you have adequate natural light, the only time you will need artificial lighting is after dusk. Although fluorescent lamps are safe for most people, some individuals experience elevated stress when exposed to them, especially for extended periods. Such people usually get regular migraines and eye strains. 

Moreover, broken compact fluorescent light bulbs are dangerous to children. This is because they emit mercury that can hurt their health.

Better Immunity

Vitamin D plays a vital role in improving your immunity. Increased exposure to sunlight strengthens your immune system. Consequently, you become less vulnerable to diseases, mortality after surgery, and some cancers.

Longevity

Studies indicate that people who spend more time basking in the sun live longer than those who don’t. The difference ranges from six months to two years. While this research is still ongoing, early signs show that exposure to natural light can help you live longer.

Better Skin Health

According to the World Health Organisation, natural light can help in treating numerous skin conditions. Precisely, UV radiation is useful in treating acne, eczema, jaundice, and psoriasis. 

Moderating Natural Light

Despite its many benefits, over-exposure to natural light has harmful effects. Ultraviolet radiation can penetrate the skin, damage your DNA, and increase the risk of contracting skin cancer. 

Currently, scientists don’t have an exact amount of sunlight exposure a person needs. It mostly depends on the intensity of the insolation and your skin type.

People with darker skin tones are less susceptible to sunburns than those with fairer skins. Also, people who spend more time outdoors are more likely to experience this condition.

Experts recommend spending at least 15 minutes three times weekly basking in natural light. While doing this, ensure that you don’t wear sunscreen because it prevents the penetration of light. 

That said, it is advisable to use sunscreen and a hat if you intend to spend a lot of time outdoors. As mentioned above, overexposure to sunlight can adversely affect your health.

Conclusion

As seen above, natural light has several health benefits. However, you need to regulate it if you want to avoid its adverse effects.



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