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How Sunlight Affects Your Mental Health

Learn how the sunlight affect your mental health

Most of us know that getting a little sunlight can be good for our health. There is a reason we often feel brighter, re-energised and all-round happier when we’ve jetted off abroad to a sunny region. Of course, overexposure to sunlight is extremely dangerous and we must always be vigilant when out in the sun, even on days that don’t appear particularly warm. However, most Brits do not get enough sunlight and as a result our mental health suffers. This is even more true over the autumn and winter months.

Depression on the Rise

Reports of depression are on the rise. Could this be because we spend more time than ever in-doors? With our numerous electronic devices often taking over the evenings and weekends, things are not the same as they once were. Sunlight affects our mood, there is no doubt about that. Ultraviolet (UV) light stimulates cells to make beta-endorphins which have a mood-boosting effect. Not only this, but the mood-boosting neurotransmitter, serotonin, is released in response to sunlight.

The near-infrared light spectrum is used by your body to produce energy. It plays quite an important role in energy production, therefore, if you’re not getting enough of it, you start to feel sluggish, drained and low. This constant sluggish feeling could eventually lead to depression. Light therapy has been shown to be effective against depression because it regulates your circadian rhythm.

Deficient in Vitamin D

A fall in vitamin D can leave you feeling quite low. So if you’re not enjoying the festive period quite as much as you should be, surprisingly, a lack of vitamin D could be the reason! Anything below 40ng/ml is considered low and you might want to try a vitamin D supplement if this is the case. We recommend Nutricell, a supplement that provides optimum levels of vitamins D3 and K2. Taken together and in the correct ratio, this activate specific proteins in the body to transport calcium to where it’s most needed for building strong bones and supporting healthy arteries.

Look After Yourself

If you really want to avoid feeling blue this Winter there are a number of other things you can do as well as ensuring you get enough sunlight! For starters, regular light exercise will also boost your mood. Why not go for a jog in the park and catch some rays, killing two birds with one stone? Start eating better too, cut out or reduce your intake of processed foods and try to get more omega-3 into your diet.

You don’t need to travel abroad and pack in as much sun as you can over the course of a week or two. The solution is actually a lot simpler; just spend more time outside. Even on days when you wouldn’t typically be outdoors because the weather isn’t great. The majority of us have indoor jobs and might only spend a few moments outside walking between our car, place of work and our home. A short walk or a bike ride once or twice a week, can make all the difference in the long-run.

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