Health benefits of sunlight
How to put a smile on your (sun) dial
If you find yourself in a better mood on days where the sun’s a-shinin’, you’re not alone! Spending time in the sun is a natural mood enhancer, with both sunlight and darkness triggering the release of hormones in the brain.
When your body is exposed to sunlight, this triggers the release of serotonin in the brain (the happy chemical). This is said to help manage feelings of depression, and to help improve the mood of people who experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD generally occurs in months where light is limited, most commonly between Autumn and Winter.
Spend less time counting sheep
Any sweet, sweet sunlight you soak up during the day does more than just boost your mood. One of the immediate benefits of daily sun exposure is improved sleep, an essential factor for our health and wellbeing. After you’ve been exposed to bright light throughout the day, higher levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone) are produced at night, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Another bonus of spending more time outside, is the positive effect sunlight can have on your stress levels. The release of serotonin can help you to feel calmer and more focused, while higher levels of melatonin help you to sleep better and for longer, both contributing to lower stress levels. So, if you’re feeling stressed, taking a walk outside is great idea for your mental health!
Strengthen your immune system
Now more than ever, we’re all looking for easy and affordable ways to boost our immune systems. One of our favourite methods? Stepping into the sunshine!
There’s a multitude of research supporting the idea that adequate amounts of daily sun exposure can aid our immune systems, decreasing the risk of developing infections and certain diseases.
Strengthen your bones with vitamin D
We can get vitamin C from citrus, vitamin B from meat, but what about vitamin D? Well, turns out it’s actually hard to get enough of it from food sources alone. The sun is our best natural source of vitamin D, which is needed to produce strong and healthy bones. So, fling open the curtains or get outside and expose yourself to direct sun every once in a while. Five to fifteen minutes of exposure a few times a week is all most people need, but make sure you slip, slop, slap, seek and slide!
Lower your BP with UV
One of the more surprising benefits of safe sun exposure is the ability of UV rays to lower blood pressure. Research shows that when the body is exposed to sunlight, it alters levels of the small messenger molecule, nitric oxide (NO) in the skin and blood, reducing blood pressure.
The simple act of getting some sunshine can also help to reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease. Plus, as mentioned earlier, you’ll also get a mood boost and improve your chances of a good night’s sleep, what’s not to love!
How to increase natural light in your home
If you can’t spend as much time in the sunshine as you’d like, bring the sunshine to you with light filtering window treatments.
For rooms that require privacy and plenty of natural light, double roller blinds are ideal. These stylish blinds combine the sophisticated light diffusing properties of a translucent fabric with the stylish practicality of a roller blind, offering you complete privacy during the day and night. Sheer curtains or vertisheer blinds are also great options, as their lightweight fabric allows plenty of natural light into the room while simultaneously protecting your privacy.
In addition to the right window treatments, the colours of your walls play an important role in making your home feel bright and full of natural light. If you’re choosing new colours, try picking lighter colours, as they can make a room feel more spacious. Decorating your home with mirrors or items with reflective surfaces, which reflect sunlight, can also help to increase natural light in your home.
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