The Benefits of Sunshine and Light: Boost Health and Lighten up Mood

benefits to sunshine and light

There are many benefits to sunshine and light. You can boost health and lighten up your mood.

A range of studies report that the sun doesn’t just help plants to thrive. It helps humans too. 

Sunshine and light are beneficial to both your health and mood.

In my longevity book “Life is Long,” I share research about the benefits of sunshine and light on your physical health.

And in my book “Happy Habits” I share the benefits of sunshine and light on your mood.

Here are the cliff notes from both books on why it’s a bright idea to lighten up your life.

The Benefits of Sunshine and Light

sunshine and lightUltraviolet light frequencies have been proven to serve up nutrients for our biological, hormonal, and electrical systems.

Hence spending time around “light” has been documented to improve our health and help us to experience a general sense of well-being.

Some studies even report sunlight helps our brains to think more clearly – and brightly!

  • Schools with lots of windows report 15 percent faster student progress in math and 23 percent faster reading leaps.

If you feel low energy – or your mood is less than sunny -spend time in the sun or good lighting.

  • Go for a walk.
  • Open up your curtains and let the sun shine in!
  • If you don’t get much sunshine in your home, enjoy some good sunny indoor lighting.

Certain kinds of indoor light can send signals to your body that affect how you feel.

According to Robert Cain, MD, special sun lamps for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can improve:

  • melatonin (to help you sleep)
  • serotonin (to regulate your mood)

Dr. Cain reminds that it’s important to first ask your doctor about using special indoor lighting if you’re on medication or have health issues. These factors might make you more sensitive to various kinds of light and sun lamps.

How to Use Special Indoor Light To Feel Better

  • Try brightening your home with full-spectrum light bulbs, such as Otte Lite, Verilux, and GE’s Reveal.
  • Get a SAD lamp (like this one). Position it above you by thirty degrees. Begin with twenty- to thirty-minute sessions. If you need more, slowly increase each session until you reach sixty minutes.

How To Add Supplements If You’re Not Getting Enough Light

If you can’t get out in the sun enough, explore trying a Vitamin D supplement – which is called the sunshine vitamin.

Vitamin D is reported to help people “compensate” for the risks of not getting enough sunshine.

  • The American Journal of Public Health warns: “People with low blood levels of vitamin D3 are more likely to die prematurely.”
  • According to a Journal of Neurology study, adults moderately deficient in vitamin D3 had a 53 percent increased risk of getting dementia.

Boosting vitamin D3 has proven benefits.

  • Cancer patients with higher levels of vitamin D3 tend to live longer and remain in remission longer than deficient patients. (Results are from a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism).

Make sure your Vitamin D3 includes K2 (like this one), which works like a traffic cop to ensure the right amounts of D3 go to the right places in your body. The only exception to not taking vitamin K with Vitamin D is if you’re on blood thinners. Vitamin K helps with blood coagulation so it might offset the blood thinning effects of medicines like Warfarin or Coumadin. Plus you should always check with your doctor before taking any supplements of any kind.

Live your Healthiest and Happiest Life

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