When you think of the sun, your first thought might be about the damage it can do. That's why we stay out of the sun when we can and slather on sunscreen when we're outdoors during the day. It's true — too much sun can be dangerous. Yet a bit of sunshine can provide a major boost to your health and mood. What are the benefits of sensible sun exposure? Take a look at our list below.
- Vitamin D: Your body produces vitamin D when bare skin is exposed to the sun. The problem is that it's difficult to get enough of the sunshine vitamin when you don’t have a lot of sunny days, time to be outside or you wear sunscreen regularly to protect yourself. In fact, it's estimated that for these and other reasons, more than 40% of Americans are Vitamin D deficient. Thankfully, that's an easy problem in most instances to fix — simply open a bottle of sunshine with Nature's Sunshine Vitamin D3.
- A serotonin boost: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your mood. Too little of it has been linked to anxiety, insomnia, obesity and other health conditions. The right amount, however, can foster a feeling of well-being. Research has shown that the amount of serotonin in the brain has been sound to be in direct correlation with Vitamin D3 levels, which is another reason to consider a quality Vitamin D supplement if you aren't getting enough sun each day.
- More energy: Exposure to sunlight in the morning can help keep your sleep-wake cycles regulated so that you sleep better, wake up easier and have more energy during the day. So soak up some morning sunshine — even if it's through a window! Studies show that sun exposure later in the day doesn't seem to have the same effect, so open those shades or take a walk first thing in the morning.
Even if you get some amount of sensible sun exposure each day or each week, it may not be enough. People who live at latitudes above 37 degrees north or below 37 degrees south of the equator often don't get enough UVB energy from the sun to make all the vitamin D they need. Other people, due to their skin pigmentation and other factors, aren't very good at making the amounts of vitamin D their body needs. That's a real problem because vitamin D deficiency also increases the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Ask your physician whether you should be tested for Vitamin D deficiency and whether a quality daily Vitamin D supplement would benefit you.