Sunlight, nature’s gift of health for everyone!!

🌞Sun is  worshipped in our country as it gives us energy to sustain our lives ,it help in growing our food,to clean water  and with solar power now we are generating electricity as well .

🌞Sunlight contribute to our good emotional and physical well-being and health.

🌞Sunlight has amazing health benefits more than just its role in producing Vitamin D through skin.

🤔What is there in sun rays?

🌞Sunlight consists of three major components

  • visible light, it is nearly half of the total radiation received at the surface of Earth.
  • ultraviolet light, it constitutes only a very small proportion of the total radiation, this component is extremely important as it produces vitamin D.
  • infrared radiation ,it is  heat-producing component which is close to half of total solar radiation received at the surface of Earth .

🌞The invisible portion of the sun’s radiation is called ultraviolet radiation or UV light. UV light is available year-round in our country . There are three main varieties of ultraviolet light: UVA, UVB and UVC.

✅UVA does not stimulate Vitamin D production, but it does stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which is vital for human health.

✅UVB stimulates the epidermis of skin to produce Vitamin D.

✅UVC radiation is the highest energy portion of the UV radiation spectrum but it does not reach from sun to earth as it is filtered by ozone layer of earth atmosphere.

🤔Why we must get vitamin D from sun ?

👉Vitamin D has many roles in the body and is essential for optimal health like it helps in strong bones,teeth, improves immunity and is important for our mental health. Deficiency of vitamin D can cause osteoporosis, cancer, depression, muscle weakness and body ache.

👉All tissues in the body have Vitamin D receptors, and the brain and central nervous system must have Vitamin D to function properly

👉Sun exposure is the direct, natural way to obtain significant amounts of Vitamin D, also there are very few foods which contain significant amounts of Vitamin D.

👉Exposure to the sun provides 90% of the Vitamin D for humans.

👉Vitamin D produced in the skin from sunlight exposure does not lead to Vitamin D toxicity and is considered safe, as the body limits its own production but this is not true for Vitamin D supplementation which you can overdose on if you take too much orally.

👉Factors that can affect ability to make vitamin D from sunlight include the time of day, skin color, how far you live from the equator, how much skin you expose to sunlight and whether you’re wearing sunscreen.

What is best time for exposure to sunlight??

👉Vitamin D from sunlight can be synthesized in the skin mostly around midday, from 10 am to 2 pm.At this time, the UVB rays are intense and it is also said that the body is more efficient in making vitamin D at this time.

👉Time of sun sun exposure depends on other factors also like if you live in hilly region then morning time between 8am-9 am good and in winter season or in cold place afternoon time is better.

👉A good rule of thumb is that the shadow of an object should be shorter than its height, this is the best type of sunlight for you to produce Vitamin D, again it Iss around 10 am to 2 pm.

👉As much as 20,000 IU of Vitamin D can be produced with whole body exposure at midday.

👉 The more skin that is exposed the greater the amount of Vitamin D is produced, lying down exposes more skin than standing up.

For how long one should stay in sun?

👉The time required to make sufficient Vitamin D varies according to a number of environmental, physical and personal factors. Usually 15-30 minutes are enough, leave the sun at the first sign of pinkness in skin.People with dark skin need more time than fair skin people.

✅Tanning acclimates the skin to reduce the risk of overexposure, but the inability to tan is a risk factor for skin cancer.

✅It’s important to note that the sun’s UVB rays cannot penetrate through windows. So people who work next to sunny windows are still prone to vitamin D deficiency.

🤔So there is no use of sun light exposure before or after midday?

👉The sun has numerous other benefits at all times of the day and at all seasons and you should take advantage of it whenever it is available.

👉Just because Vitamin D cannot be synthesized by the skin during during early morning or late afternoon, one should not try to staying away from sunlight during these periods.

✅ Skin makes more than just Vitamin D from sun exposure: it makes nitric oxide, dopamine, serotonin, endorphins and BDNF (a neuron growth factor and preventer of nerve death), and photoproducts that may reduce the risk of Neurological issues, heart disease and cancer, as well as many other diseases.

🤔HOW sunlight helps in better sleep?

✅Spending time in morning sunlight improves sleep.
✅Our body creates a hormone called melatonin which helps in sleep.
✅Sun light  regulates your circadian rhythm by telling your body when to increase and decrease your melatonin levels. So, the more daylight exposure you can get, the better your body will produce melatonin when it’s time to go to sleep, as we can see in children when they how well they sleep after playing outside all day in the sunshine.

✅Lack of daylight disrupts some hormonal processes in our bodies causing our circadian rhythms to shift which might cause delay in sleep, which result in an increased risk of depression.

✅The earliest morning sun is responsible for resetting the circadian rhythm.
✅Try to be outside for a half hour when the sun rises each morning. 

✅Waking up early and exposing yourself to morning light is one way to sync body with nature’s rhythm , helps in better sleep at night and more alert, energetic mornings.
When those rhythms are disturbed  you might have trouble getting out of bed in the morning and then have trouble falling asleep at night.

✅ So people who are exposed to sunlight in the morning sleep better at night and feel less stressed and depressed than people who don’t get access to morning sunlight.
morning light relieves anxiety by reducing the activity of the brain’s fear center.

🌞In Ayurveda day start with brahma mahurat that is 45 minutes before sunrise as waking up after sun rise which is  known as the kapha time of day, we would have a dense heavy feeling of lethargy and depression would last the rest of the day.🌅
👉The kapha time of day is from 6 am to 10 am, so we should always wake up no later than 6 am if at all possible in order to feel the most energetic during the day.

🤔How does sunlight help in treatment of depression?
✅Sun light boosts your body’s production of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that improves your mood and helps you stay calm and focused.
✅When we wake up to sunshine the light enters the eye and stimulates serotonin production.

👉Anti depressants  work by keeping serotonin in circulation since lack of serotonin may cause depression. Sun exposure can increase the amount of serotonin in the circulation by 800% in one day, without the toxic side effects of the anti depressants.

✅This is why people develop more   mood disorder  like  depression, irritability, aggression, weight gain, fatigue and inability to concentrate in winter than in summer, when there is plenty of bright light .

🌞Sunlight  immediately increase  our mood and at the same time helping your entire body to heal from the inside out.❤️

✅Sitting in dark rooms with with less sunlight create insufficient levels of Vitamin D, endorphins, and serotonin, leading to long-term depression, mood disorders.

👉Now a days people watch tv for hours in dark room, eating junk, moving less, causing obesity and increase rate of depression.

🤔How sunlight helps in mental wellbeing? 😇

✅The brain produces endorphins in response to sun exposure. Endorphins elevate the mood while producing a sense of well being, helps you stay calm and focused.

✅Sunlight increases Dopamine which is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for making us feel bliss, euphoria and gives us enhanced motivation and satisfaction .

✅Our brains produce a protein called BDNF which promotes growth of neurons and prevents nerve cell death.  BDNF has an effect on behavior, mood (depression), brain adaptation.

✅Happy hormones that is serotonin, endorphins and dopamine, which produce feelings like pleasure, happiness and even love are all produced from exposure to sunlight.

🌞How sunlight helps in lowering blood pressure?

✅Nitric oxide (NO) is produced by the skin after exposure to the UVA Nitric oxide reduces blood pressure since it is a potent vasodilator, which means it opens up the blood vessels and increase blood flow in the blood vessels , when released into the arteries by UVA stimulation, which lowers blood pressure.

✅Nitric oxide gets produced even if we get sunlight filtered through window glass. (unlike Vitamin D which needs direct sunshine on the skin to be made).

🌞Seasonal cold and flu outbreaks are related to lower solar UVB doses, due to lowest time of sun exposure .

🌞Sunlight boosts immunity by improving the effectiveness of T-cells which are huge part of the immune system sunlight directly activates these key immune cells by increasing their movement to the site of infection .

✅Sun’s ultra violet rays work against multiple sclerosis ,which is a autoimmune disease of the brain and spinal cord where immune system attacks and destroys the myelin sheath of the body’s own nervous system result in communication problems between brain and the rest of the body.But UV light inhibits spinal cord inflammation and demyelination of nerves.

✅It was also found that exposure to UV radiation help prevent the body from attacking itself by increasing the T and B cells which modulate and suppress the immune system.

🌞Sunlight is extremely helpful in skin diseases
👉The UVB light found in sunlight suppresses inflammation in the skin and  thus useful in treatment of skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema.
That is why many  skin conditions clear up in the summer months with more exposure to the sun.

🙄 Sunlight is great for health but too much sunlight can be dangerous as it may cause sunburn, eye damage, skin aging and other skin changes, heat stroke and skin cancer.

Hope you find this article useful, do share your inputs in comment section. 😊

Published by Dr. Amrita Sharma

I am an ayurvedic practitioner with experience of more than a decade, I have worked with best ayurvedic companies and now with the purpose of reaching out people to make them aware about ayurveda which is not just a system of treatment but a way of living to remain healthy

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