Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry

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Mental Health Benefits You Can Get from the Sun

While we often hear about the negative effects of getting too much sun, there are actually health benefits you can get with the right amount of sunlight. It’s still true that you can get skin cancer, sunburns, and other negative effects from being out in the sun for too long, but that can only be possible if you don’t use SPF and if you’re not careful.

4 Positive Effects of Sunlight on your Mental Health

The sun has multiple positive effects on the body. Moreover, soaking up some sunlight will do lots of wonders for your mental health. So, what are the health benefits of sunlight on your mental health?

  1. Improved Mood

One of the major positive effects of getting enough sunlight is an improved mood. During seasons with low sun exposure, researchers discovered greater mental health concerns in individuals. Meanwhile, days with lots of sunshine were linked to improved mental health. Your brain releases chemicals in response to light and darkness. Serotonin is a hormone that the brain releases more of when exposed to sunlight. Serotonin has been linked to improving mood and promoting calm and concentration. Serotonin levels can drop if you don’t get enough sun, causing mental health issues.

  1. Better Sleep Quality

Serotonin, which you absorb from the sun’s rays, does much more than just improve your mood; it may also improve the quality of your sleep at night. 

Melatonin, a brain chemical that induces sleep and which the sun actually helps your body produce, works in conjunction with serotonin to help you fall asleep. Getting some sunshine in the morning can actually improve your quality of sleep at night since it helps to regulate your circadian rhythm.

  1. Reduced Depression and Anxiety Symptoms

Have you noticed that when you’re not getting enough sunlight during the winter season or if it’s raining, your mood and mental health issues are much more rampantly running through your mind? That’s because you’re not getting enough sunlight, which means your serotonin production is low. Since sunlight will be able to increase serotonin levels, which helps improve your mood, depression symptoms are likely to reduce because you’re much happier. 

Further, your anxiety symptoms are also likely to lessen with better sleep. With enough sunlight, your body is also able to produce more melatonin, which will help you sleep at night. thus resulting in less overthinking during the night.

  1. Helps Eating Disorders

The notion that vitamin D insufficiency may be a factor in the emergence of these mental health issues is supported by research showing an increase in symptom severity and eating disorder incidence in the colder months of fall and winter.

Additionally, studies have shown that the development of these harmful eating disorders is impacted by the role of vitamin D in regulating circadian rhythms.

Final Thoughts

The sun can either be your best friend or your greatest enemy, depending on how you regulate your sun exposure. Once you know how to regulate your sun exposure, you’ll be able to get a lot of health benefits that will help improve your mental health.

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