Sunlight for a morose soul can scientifically prove to be somewhat similar to a silver lining. Stress is an inevitable part of life and there is no running from it. But, when this stress builds-up and consistently finds a way into your life, you need to get in touch with an expert ASAP.
There may be a shrink for every depressed or severely stressed person, but you needn’t go so far as to check in for psychotherapy sessions. All you need to do is let some sunlight into your life.
Researchers from the Baker Heart Research Institute in Melbourne found that the levels of serotonin i.e., neurotransmitter that regulates sleep, appetite, mood and memory tend to be lower during winter compared with summer.
It was noted that the only factor that affects the mood is the amount of sunlight he/she is exposed to on any given day. So was reported in the participants who took part in the study. The researchers found that more sunlight meant better mood and less sunlight meant the development of symptoms of depression.
The study also suggests that a drop in the levels of serotonin meant a direct correlation with seasonal affective disorder, which mostly starts during the winter months.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh as well as Carnegie Mellon University found in their study on how sunlight affected moods and pain medication usage of patients undergoing surgery that those patients who were placed in bright rooms had less perceived stress and took less medication per hour compared with patients who were in dim rooms.
The study also suggested that a mere, indirect exposure to sunlight improves/uplifts mood.
Sunlight can help in shutting down the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that is produced at night and is responsible for inducing a feeling of drowsiness. Exposing oneself frequently to sunlight can help in maintaining the body’s circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm refers to the 24-hour-cycle that helps to regulate biochemical, behavioural and physiological processes, making you feel tired when it is dark outside.
Going out for 15 minutes at the same time every day, especially in the morning, will tell your body that it is no longer night-time and this will help to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Exposure your eyes to the sun i.e. without hindering the light with sunglasses will help the rays to reach the pineal gland of the brain more easily and thereby signal it to stop releasing melatonin.
Sunlight has a lot of health benefits to offer. But, you must keep the exposure to it within a moderate scale. Some factors such as skin pigmentation, how much skin is exposed and the time of the day determine the healthiest dosage of sunshine according to your needs.
People with a fair s kin tone should spend no more than 10 minutes outside during the hottest time of the day without the sunscreen. Those with a darker skin tone need 6 times the sun exposure requirements of a fair skinned person to receive optimum benefits of vitamin D.
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