Sunlight provides us with many health benefits that we deprive ourselves of when we stay inside. Dr. Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, M.D., M.S. states, “There is so much to be gained from receiving appropriate amounts of sunlight, therefore staying indoors chronically isn’t ever a good idea.” Yet circumstances caused by the raging pandemic has forced many of us to stay inside. The lack of sun exposure has posed negative implications that compromise our health. Here is how the sun inside affects the body and what you can do:
Why is the sun good for you?
- The sun rays emit energy that balances our sleep patterns, the time we eat, and when we are most energized
- The sun dictates our
circadian clock or our internal clock, which defines the way our brain and
organs function. They regulate hormones that control our hunger, fatigue level,
- Dr. Jamie Zeitzer, an assistant professor at Stanford University’s Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, believes that light is the most significant factor in regulating our internal clock. Thus, when we travel and change time zones, our body does not receive the same amount of light it normally absorbs during the day. We feel tired, lethargic, and discombobulated when exiting a plane because our circadian clocks have been thrown off.
- Synthesize vitamin D
- Enhances mood
- Treats seasonal depression
What you can do:
- Going outside for 45 minutes can help synchronize your internal clock. Your system takes in the natural light through your retinas, allowing you to protect yourself from skin damage with the right coverage. Stepping outside in the morning can boost your levels of productivity, giving you an advantage to starting your day. Rollerblades, bikes, scooters and skateboards can be utilized to make the activity more enjoyable. Sunglasses, clothes, and sunscreen can shield your complexion from too much sun–which can also be harmful.
- A natural, green environment can enhance your physical and mental energy by about 40%. Furthermore, when staying indoors, you may find that dressing up your surroundings to be more ecocentric is a helpful way to cope with the pressure of staying at home. Urban Outfitters advertises furniture pieces that complement your home with natural décor.
- Additionally, purchasing plants or letting in some sun can better connect you with the environment. Putting greenery into your home will allow you to feel more rejuvenated and relaxed. Indoor plants have been shown to reduce stress, increase productivity, and improve creative expression. Plants also produce clean air and prevent toxins from circulating.
As humans, we were never meant to stay indoors for long durations of time; this pandemic has altered our circumstances for the worst, and we must adapt. You may try to catch some sun rays before the day ends to help yourself cope with the detrimental situation.