Basking in the sun is fun. Natural light is also helpful to homeowners looking to sell, as it increases your home’s perceived value and makes your greenery grow faster. More importantly, exposure to sunlight can significantly improve your health and the environment if you invest in solar panels.
Here are the health benefits of having natural sunlight in your home.
Less Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that makes you experience negative moods during particular seasons. It is especially prevalent during winter. That said, it also occurs in summer, albeit occasionally.
Sunlight is vital to fighting SAD. Unsurprisingly, this condition affects more people living in the far North than those residing near the equator. Inadequate synthesis of vitamin D has adverse effects on serotonin regulation, a neurotransmitter used for controlling moods and the sleep cycle.
According to studies, you can reduce SAD symptoms by regularly exposing yourself to the sun for at least a week.
More Vitamin D
As mentioned above, exposure to sunlight increases the amount of vitamin D in your body. This is a vital nutrient that strengthens your bones, helps with weight regulation, and lowers the risk of heart disease and various cancers.
Notably, this vitamin is adequate, whether you get sunlight indoors or outdoors. This means that you should have windows or openings that allow natural light in your home and workplace.
Healing Skin Conditions
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), exposing yourself to the sun can help treat some skin conditions. Doctors advise patients with acne, eczema, jaundice, and psoriasis to bask in the sun to help them reduce the symptoms.
It is worth noting that light therapy is not beneficial to everybody. Ensure that you consult your dermatologist before using this form of treatment.
Lower Health Risks
When you spend more time exposed to natural light, you areless likely to expose yourself to artificial light sources, such as fluorescent bulbs. Although they are recognised as safe, compact fluorescent bulbs produced an elevated stress response in some people.
If compact fluorescent bulbs are your primary source of light, you are at higher risk of contracting migraines and straining your eyes than those who bask in the sun. Moreover, broken bulbs can also emit dangerous amounts of mercury that can cause adverse health effects, especially to kids.
Combats Eating Disorders
Research shows that people experience eating disorders more in the cold season compared to summer. For this reason, experts believe that vitamin D deficiency is one of the causes of this condition. That said, evidence suggests that light therapy, or exposure to sunlight, can help treat the disorder. More specifically, vitamin D and melatonin are used for regulating circadian rhythms and synthesising serotonin.
People with mental health problems often find it difficult to sleep. Besides meditation, you can use natural sunlight to help you get better sleep. When you get enough sleep, your productivity at your workplace or business increases significantly.
Although overexposure can increase the risk of skin cancer, a moderate amount of natural light can help prevent some cancers. People who live in areas that receive little sunlight are more susceptible to colon cancers, lymphoma, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer.
Despite its numerous health benefits, the sun emits ultraviolet radiation that penetrates the skin, damages your DNA, and in some cases, leads to skin cancer. Unfortunately, experts don’t have the exact amount of time you should bask under the sun. Generally, how long you can expose yourself safely depends on the type of your skin and the intensity of the solar radiation.
People with light skin usually get sunburns faster than those with dark-coloured skin. You are also more likely to get sunburns if you bask when the sun’s rays are more direct, particularly between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Ideally, you should bask in the sun for 15 minutes, three times weekly. This is enough to promote vitamin D synthesis. When doing this, avoid wearing sunscreen or heavy clothes, which prevents the penetration of sun rays. Lastly, it is advisable to wear sunscreen and other protection gear such as a hat if you intend to expose yourself for more than 15 minutes. Remember that overexposure is a potential health hazard.