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How important is it to get a little sunshine? 

Medically reviewed by

Prof Rishi Singhal MBBS, MRCS, FRCS, MD

Do you ever realise how important is it to get a little sunshine?

Sunlight has numerous health benefits for our bodies. Here are a few excellent reasons to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.

Improves your sleep

Melatonin, a hormone produced by your body, is essential for sleep. Melatonin is produced when it is dark, and you typically begin to feel sleepy two hours after the sun sets, which is one of the reasons our bodies naturally stay awake later in the summer.

According to research, an hour of natural light in the morning will help you sleep better. Sunshine controls your circadian rhythm by telling your body when to increase and decrease melatonin levels. As a result, the more daylight you can get, the better your body will produce melatonin when it’s time to sleep.

Reduces stress

Melatonin also reduces stress reactivity and being outside allows your body to naturally regulate melatonin, which can help reduce stress. Furthermore, because you’re usually doing something active when you’re outside (walking, playing, etc.), the extra exercise helps to reduce stress.

Maintains strong bones

Being outside is one of the best (and simplest) ways to get Vitamin D. When we are exposed to sunlight, our bodies produce Vitamin D—about 15 minutes in the sun per day is a good place to start. Because Vitamin D helps your body maintain calcium and prevents brittle, thin, or misshapen bones, spending time in the sun may be just what the doctor ordered.

Strengthens your immune system

Vitamin D is also important for your immune system, and regular exposure to sunlight can help strengthen it. A strong immune system can help reduce the risk of illness and infections.

Fights off depression

Sunshine raises the level of serotonin in your body, which is a chemical that improves your mood and helps you stay calm and focused. Increased exposure to natural light may help alleviate the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, which is characterised by a change in mood that occurs during the fall and winter months when there are fewer hours of daylight.

Now Spring is here, go grab your factor 50 and get outside!

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