Sunlight: a Natural Way to Fight Stress and Protect your Health
Categories: Health & Nutrition
Learn the benefits of a little time in the sun.
Stress is an inevitable fact of life. However, you can fight it naturally: simply step outside on a sunny day. Read on for a list of reasons to let the sunshine in your daily routine.
Sunlight Boosts Serotonin
Researchers from the Baker Heart Research Institute in Melbourne found that levels of serotonin—a neurotransmitter that regulates appetite, sleep, memory, and mood—are lower during the winter than the summer.
The research team noted that the only factor that affected participants’ moods was the amount of sunlight they were exposed to on any given day. More sunlight meant better moods; less sunlight lead to symptoms of depression.
The study suggests that low levels of serotonin directly correlate with seasonal affective disorder, which most often occurs during winter months.
Sunlight Can Reduce Surgery Pain and Stress
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University conducted a study to see if sunlight affected the moods and pain medication usage of patients undergoing surgery.
They found that patients who were placed in bright rooms reported less perceived stress and took less medication per hour than patients in dim rooms. This study also suggests that even indirect exposure to sunlight (i.e. through a window) can improve one’s mood.