What are the Benefits of Natural Light?
While many people are well aware of the dangers of too much exposure to sunlight, not everyone is aware of the beneficial aspects of short periods of exposure to natural light. In fact, enjoying the daylight from time to time can make a big difference in how people feel, think, and perform.
Full spectrum lighting in the form of sunlight provides a lot of nutrition for human beings. Many are aware of the way that natural light helps to produce Vitamin C. However, not everyone is aware of how the sun can make a big difference in Vitamin D levels in the body. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that helps with alleviating depression, aids in the absorption of other vitamins and minerals, and is believed to help minimize the chances of developing several types of cancer. Since Vitamin D is produces the moment that sunlight touches your skin, short periods of exposure to natural light will allow you to easily obtain enough Vitamin D each day to help your body fight off a number of ailments.
Light therapy can also be helpful with various types of anxiety disorders. For example, the nervousness and melancholy connected with Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD can be attributed to a lack of exposure to natural light. People who tend to stay indoors and out of the sun at all costs are much more likely to develop this condition, possibly progressing on to a fully blown panic disorder or depression. Fifteen or twenty minutes spent in natural light each day can make a huge difference.
Even many businesses are finding that by creating work environments where employees have the chance to enjoy natural light will increase the bottom line. Workers who are able to work near windows or in spaces equipped with a skylight tend to be less prone to negative emotions, are able to focus on tasks with greater ease, and in general are more productive and happy with their work.
Exposure to natural light can also be very practical for some people. Allowing daylight into the home helps to minimize the reliance on electricity to create artificial light in the space, thus reducing the monthly power bill. People with less than perfect vision often find it is easier to observe small details when using natural light instead of artificial light. There are some anecdotal reports of people recovering faster from colds and even surgical procedures if they are exposed to a certain amount of sunlight each day.
There is also the issue of people with extremely pale skin developing skin cancer due to prolonged exposure to sunlight. If your skin does not contain many natural defenses for harmful ultraviolet light, then you may develop skin cancer if you are in the sun for too long. Finding the right amount of exposure time is important for a healthy body.
I think that on the flipside, when there is too much exposure to light, people can have trouble sleeping due to a relative lack of melatonin. Getting the proper balance between day and night time is important, as is a good nights sleep. Without a proper nights sleep, psychological disorders can develop or be augmented.
Depression can be due to both a lack of long days and beauty outside, as well as a lack of exposure to such light. Longer nights cause the melatonin levels to remain high, helping sleep, but also damaging motivation during the day.
This may be part of the reason why there is a larger amount of depression among lighter skinned people. There is an especially strong presence of depression among those who live close to the poles, such as many Inuit tribes in Canada. Getting sunlight is important for proper mind function and vitamin intake.
Natural light, particularly sunlight is very important for our health. It helps synthesize vitamin D in our bodies, which in turn can prevent many maladies including cancer.
Of course sun exposure should be done in moderation, in small doses, and when sun is not as strong, such as mornings and evenings. Half an hour a day should be plenty of exposure to reap all of the benefits.
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