A little sunlight has a huge impact on your emotional health. Can morning sunlight really help you with your sleep that night?! Is light really as important as our diet and exercise plan? Yep, and yep… It has been really nice outside lately. At Alexandria Wellness, we are noticing a little “spring” in our steps, adding more walks with friends, sitting outside during lunch, and grabbing all of the beauty we sometimes take for granted. Many of our community is back outdoors for our group training sessions. The community at AW is alive and thriving!
Our doctors and lots of attention has been paid to the fact that sunlight helps produce more vitamin D to boost our bone density and longevity. Vitamin D also helps your body maintain calcium, so soaking up a few rays of sun in the morning may be just what you need. Most experts say about 15 minutes in the sun a day, without sunscreen, is adequate if you are fair-skinned. Check with your dermatologist about how much time your skin can withstand before risking overexposure. After a maximum of 15 minutes, we recommend applying sunscreen to protect your skin and reapplying throughout the day. Our favorite sunscreen products can all be found at Bellacara.
Check out my top reasons below why you need to grab a dose of morning sunlight before turning on the coffee maker or (gasp!) picking up your iPhone. What if we gave “sunlight” just as much focus as we give “diet” and “exercise” as key components to our health and wellness? Could this be the key ingredient to help us look and feel our best? I believe so! Reason #1: Weight Loss
A study at Northwestern University found that people who got the more morning light exposure resulted in a BMI 20 percent lower than those who did not. It wasn’t about the exercise. It wasn’t about their diet. It was that they experienced exposure to morning sunlight. Experts say we need to get about 20-30 minutes of morning light between 8am to noon. Even on a cloudy day, the outdoor sunlight will be bright enough to help you lose those excess pounds.
Reason #2: Fights off Depression
Sunshine boosts the level of serotonin in your body. Serotonin is a chemical associated with mood improvement and being calm and focused. Ladies, we want to not only increase it, given our busy days and hectic lifestyles, we want to keep it. In fact, increased exposure to natural light may even help ease the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a type of depression associated with recurrent seasonal patterns. SAD affects 15 million adults or nearly 7 percent of the U.S. population.
Reason #3: Improves your sleep
Exposure to morning sunlight as soon as we awaken sets our circadian rhythm for the day. Our circadian rhythm is a physiological function that helps set your daily sleep and awakening schedule. It tells your body when to produce more melatonin, the sleep hormone, and when to decrease the production of it. It is like magic – and you can’t even see it all happening! Yes, believe it or not, getting ten or so minutes of sunlight will set the stage for a much more restful night of sleep. In fact, the more daylight exposure you get, the better your body will produce melatonin. So, you can see that free sunlight is just as important to your wellness as your diet and exercise program! Considering so many facets of your wellness, we at Alexandria Wellness leave no strategy behind. Whether it’s sleep or stress, menopause, or mindset, we need to “leave no stone unturned” when it comes to our health. Sign up below for our newsletter where we talk about events, programs, and exciting things happening at Alexandria Wellness.