How Sun Exposure Can Help You And Your Patients

We’ve all heard the warnings about too much sun exposure.  But did you know that some sun is actually beneficial to your health? 

Benefits Of Sun Exposure

Spending just 15 minutes in the sun each day can be healing and preventative for your health. 

Here are some big reasons to get out and enjoy the sun when you can:

Sunlight gives you a natural boost. 

Exposure to sunlight increases serotonin, which regulates appetite, sleep, memory, and mood.  Low serotonin levels are often seen during the winter months, when we spend much of the time indoors, and can contribute to seasonal affective disorder. 

It may lower your blood pressure. 

A study done in 2014 showed that exposure to UVA rays lowered subjects diastolic blood pressure by almost 5 points. 

Sunlight can improve your sleep. 

Exposure to natural sunlight increases the natural production of melatonin (a hormone that helps you sleep) at night.

Increased Vitamin D. 

We’ve heard many times that the vitamin D produced from being in the sun can help your mood, but it also contributes to a host of other benefits.  Increased vitamin D may help prevent cancer, may lower risk for multiple sclerosis, and can contribute to bone health in older adults.

While these benefits are impressive, you still do need to use caution.  Skin cancer is still a risk, so limit your exposure to natural, direct sunlight to about 15 minutes per day, and then use sunscreen to safely enjoy the outdoors for the rest of the day.  

What's your favorite way to spend time in the sun?