You Are A Star! No, Really…

As humans, we are made out of the exact same elements that make up the earth, moon, and stars. 

Although we have been separated from the natural world by civilization, technology, and modern comforts, we are physical beings that need the same earthly requirements as all the plants and animals with whom we share this amazing planet.

Like plants and animals, we require the same essential elements to sustain our life. They are: 

1..Earth (Food and nutrition from the earth) 

2..Air (Oxygen

3..Water (Water)

4..Fire (Sunlight)

Can you recall the last time you sat under the sun?

Do you remember the comforting warmth, the quick boost in mood, and the energy generated within?  

Numerous studies show that a few minutes of sun exposure every day is beneficial to your health in many ways.

Sun is the life energy of all living things, and humans are no exception. Today, an estimated 95% of the U.S. population spends more time indoors due to lifestyle changes or occupation. 

In the last few decades, much of the information focused on long-term sun exposure and its hazards than the perks of short-term exposure. Consequently, fear has taken over the benefits of natural sunlight. 

Acute sun exposure can ward off many health issues such as depression and the risk of degenerative diseases. There is substantial evidence that supports the benefits of short-term sun exposure. Here are the top three benefits of acute exposure to natural light. 

 #1. Boosts Vitamin D

Sunlight is a major source of vitamin D, the best-known benefit of sun exposure. Vitamin D is crucial for bone health, immunity improvement, protective heart health, and can reduce the risk of certain cancers. 

The human body is capable of producing Vitamin D upon exposure to the UV-B rays from the sun. UV-B rays activate the Vitamin D receptors in the skin’s surface, which provide the active and usable form of Vitamin D3 in the liver. 

#2. Regulates your circadian rhythm

Ironically (and sadly), many of us feel tired during the day, yet are unable to sleep to at night!

This is due to a disruption in circadian rhythm, which is the internal clock that influences our sleep and wake cycles. 

Exposure to sunlight ensures a regular sleep-wake cycle (4) that is crucial to keep us refreshed in the day and results in improved nighttime sleep. A steady circadian rhythm also helps our body balance other hormones and can reduce the risk of depression and other mental health conditions. 

In addition to increasing exposure to natural light during the day, shutting down “blue light” devices like the television and cell phones at least an hour before bed can help regulate your circadian rhythm. 

#3. Improves mood 

Exposure to sunlight increases the secretion of serotonin, the hormone responsible for the “feel-good” factor. Serotonin has a calming effect and is a mood-booster. 

Decreased sun exposure results in a drop in serotonin, which increases the risk of depression, and Seasonal Affective Disorders (SAD). Researchers have also found that Vitamin D3 receptors are also present in the hypothalamus region of the brain, which explains its beneficial effects in reducing the risk of depression. 

Salutations To The Sun!

Prior to modern civilization, humans spent most of their waking hours outdoors. In return, our bodies have evolved to use the sun to nourish our health and our mood. 

So get outdoors!

Just keep in mind, before you rush out to bask in the sunlight, here’s something you should always keep in mind. If you plan to spend more than fifteen minutes out in the sun, use sunscreen after the first fifteen minutes of exposure and wear a hat to reduce the effects of harmful UV rays. 

Basking in the sun is nourishing. Never miss this fifteen minutes a day, natural prescription! 

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11477521
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470481/ 
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21310306
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6751071/ 
  5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651 
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15589699/ 
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