We don’t know about you but the sun has been giving us life. When it’s sunny, everything feels more manageable. It’s easier to get outside and go on walks, your skin looks better and you generally feel more alive. As our social lives slowly get back to normal, too, the sun is adding a big pep in our steps.
But what is the science behind why it gives us that boost? What is it about the sunlight that makes our days feel more worthwhile? If you want to know why warm weather makes us so happy, keep reading.
The sun is good for our mental health
A lack of sun exposure has been linked to a drop in your serotonin levels, which can lead to depression during the winter time. The light-induced effects of serotonin are caused by sunlight that enters through the eye. This is why people often use light therapy treatments for seasonal depression.
Sunshine is linked to better sleep
Regularly exposure to sunlight promotes the production of melatonin which is the hormone that helps to regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle. This encourages the feeling of drowsiness, making us drift off easier at night while also making us happier in they day.
Our circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock that signals when to be alert, is also regulated by melatonin, which can also make us happier.
The sun helps us build stronger bones
Exposure to the ultraviolet-B radiation in the sun’s rays causes our skin to create vitamin D, which plays a big role in building our bones.
A study found that in people wearing a swimsuit for 30 minute period, the following vitamin D levels were produced
50,000 international units (IUs) in most Caucasian people
20,000 to 30,000 IUs in tanned people
8,000 to 10,000 IUs in dark skinned people
Sunlight can help prevent cancer
While it’s important to use sun cream to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, a healthy amount of sunlight actually helps us avoid cancer.
People who live in areas with a fewer daylight hours are more likely to have specific cancers than people who live in areas that have more sun during the day. These include colon cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphona, ovarian, pancreatic and prostrate cancer.
The sun is good for our skin
Have you noticed that your skin looks better in the sun? There’s a reason for this. Exposure to the sun can help treat numerous skin conditions, according to the World Health Organistion (WHO), including psoriasis, eczema, jaundice and acne. Don’t forget to wear SPF, of course, but it’s good to know, huh?
Happier skin, happier you.