For years, we've all been told about the negative consequences that can come from taking in too much sunlight. And while it is true overexposure of the sun's rays can be harmful to your body, it is important to detail the great benefits that can come from a little sunshine.
Sure, you may know that the Vitamin D we get from the sun is good for us, but are you aware of the other benefits it has? Recent science has shown just how crucial sun exposure is for our wellbeing and everyday lives; from helping prevent heart disease, cancer, and depression to encouraging weight loss, the sun has a lot of good to offer to our bodies.
At VELUX, we pride ourselves on bringing daylight and fresh air to our customers. Now, we've got 10 reasons that prove exactly why it's so important to have natural sunlight flooding into homes:
One of the many ways our bodies benefits from Vitamin D is through our bones. Because Vitamin D accumulates within the cells of our intestines, Vitamin D allows us to absorb our calcium intake better, resulting in stronger and healthier bone structure. Without enough Vitamin D, our bones do not form properly and this deficiency can cause long-lasting side effects for children and adults. Rickets, a disease that stunts growth and can cause skeletal deformities, can bring extreme harm to children who are still maturing. Adults who lack a proper amount of Vitamin D face the potential of osteoporosis and osteomalacia.
We've all been told that if we stay out in the sun too long, we're bound to get skin cancer. And while this isn't untrue, we're rarely told about the ways that the sun can actually help with cancer prevention. Studies have proven that individuals who live in areas with less sunlight are at higher risk of dying from breast, lymphoma, ovarian, colon, pancreatic, prostate, and kidney cancer, as well as others. Results have shown that the right amount of Vitamin D and calcium intake leads to a 50-77% reduction in expected cancer rates.
Heal Skin Conditions
Research has shown ways that sunshine can help fight different skin diseases by attracting immune cells to the surface of the skin. In fact, doctors use UV radiation exposure to treat conditions such as eczema, acne, jaundice, and psoriasis.
Promote Eye Health
Vitamin D has been linked to better vision and eye health overall and helps the aging of our eyes. According to research, sun rays have a powerful effect that is both beneficial and curative to our eyes. Studies have also shown that children who are exposed to natural light are at lower risk of developing short-sightedness. So, while you definitely shouldn't be staring directly at the sun, the light and Vitamin D it produces are nothing but good for your eyes.
Vitamin D Deficiency Prevention
So far, you've read all the incredible things that Vitamin D does to our bodies - and it doesn't stop there! In fact, exposing yourself to sunlight reduces the risk of Vitamin D deficiency, a problem that affects almost 50% of the worldwide population!
Increased Wakefulness and Improved Sleep
Research has shown that more exposure to daylight and brightness causes a decrease in feeling sleepy and groggy as the afternoon slump hits us. Similarly, being exposed to morning sunlight has been linked to better sleep and health; it has been shown that the less morning light, the harder it is to fall asleep and wake up at preferred times. Getting enough light during the day allows our nighttime melatonin levels to increase, which also help us to go to bed earlier. And because our eyes are extra sensitive to light at night, it's important we avoid artificial light to keep our circadian rhythm in tact.
Potential for Weight Loss
While sunlight does not directly slim your waist, the effects that Vitamin D has on your body can lead to weight loss. For example, a lack of sunlight can lead to depression, which can in turn affect our appetites. Hunger is controlled by the hypothalamus in our brain, and when our serotonin levels aren't being met, the hypothalamus releases the feeling we get when we feel like we could just keep eating. Therefore, taking in plenty of sunlight allows us to control our appetites. Additionally, sunlight motivates us to be more active and participate in outdoor activities, which can also lead to weight loss.
Heart Disease Prevention and Lower Blood Pressure
Studies have shown a link between cardiovascular disease and Vitamin D deficiencies in patients; 30-50% of patients who suffer from cardiovascular disease were observed to have been in environments with reduced sunlight. Exposure to sunlight also allows the nitric oxide that's stored at the top layer of our skin to react and widen blood vessels as oxide moves into our blood stream. This causes a result in lower blood pressure and prevents the significant danger of high blood pressure.
Improved Brain Functionality
When we expose ourselves to sunlight, we are directly affecting our brain's pineal gland, the gland that produces melatonin, which is important for sleep quality and preventing depression. As we all know, a lack of sleep can cause us to feel like the zombies the next day, making it difficult to focus on the task at hand and only think about our cozy beds. By having improper brain functionality, we are less likely to have a productive day, which can potentially leave us in a mental health battle.
Boosts Overall Happiness
Up to this point, we've seen how Vitamin D can improve our sleep, serotonin and melatonin levels, and how it can promote weight loss - all things that are greatly affected by our mood. So, it would only make sense that increased exposure to sunlight leads to an increase in our overall day-to-day happiness. Another strain of depression that can be greatly affected by the amount of daylight seen is Seasonal Affective Disorder. Research has shown that people are more likely to feel depressed during the colder months when it gets darker earlier than during the warmer months where daylight is present for more hours in the day.
Feeling inspired bring your customers all-day access to sunlight? Take a second to browse our No Leak Skylight collection to find the perfect way to invite daylight and fresh air in your customers' homes.