From light therapy to phototherapy to chromotherapy, we know a little about their benefits. But, what about the positive effects of sun exposure?
The Sun is the star of the Solar System. In the astronomical classification, it is a yellow dwarf-type star. We know that solar energy transmitted by solar radiation makes life on Earth possible by providing light energy (light) and heat energy (heat), allowing the presence of water in the liquid state and photosynthesis Plant. Solar UV contributes to the natural disinfection of surface water and destroys some undesirable molecules (when the water is not too turbid). The natural polarization of sunlight (including at night after scattering or reflection, by the moon) or by materials such as water or plant cuticles is used by many species to orient themselves.
Solar radiation is also responsible for climates and most weather phenomena observed on Earth. Indeed, the global radiative balance of the Earth is such that the thermal density on the surface of the Earth is on average 99.97% or 99.98% of solar origin. As for all other bodies, these thermal fluxes are continually emitted in space, in the form of infrared thermal radiation; the Earth thus remaining in “dynamic equilibrium”.
Recent studies by various research institutes around the world are unanimous:
The sun’s rays have many virtues that are often ignored. If you do not want to abuse its shelves, it is not necessarily good to avoid them at all costs. The star-king, the light through which life on earth, that of plants, animals, and humans, is possible. The influence of the sun on our health and mood is more important than we believe.
The sun is our only source of light on Earth. As long as you do not expose yourself directly or for a long time to its UV, it is a source of benefits that you should know how to take advantage of.
In this article, we will present the positive effects of sun exposure, more specifically on the human body, and morale.
I – Positive Effects of Sun Exposure on the Human Body
We are naturally attracted to the sun as soon as the first rays appear. Why does exposure to the sun give us a sense of well-being? Why there are so many positive effects of sun exposure?
1 – Positive Effects of Sun Exposure on the Fortification of the Bones
Under the UVB effect, some skin cells react, synthesizing vitamin D (cholecalciferol, ergocalciferol), essential to fix both calcium and phosphorus. It prevents rickets, as well as osteoporosis in the elderly, and promotes the growth of children. On average, over the year, 15 to 30 minutes of daily exposure suffice.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun breaks down into three rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC differ in their wavelengths and their ability to cross certain environments. The energy of the radiation is all the stronger as the length is short, their penetration through the skin is therefore deep when the wavelength is high.
Vitamin D is needed to fix calcium on your bones. Exposure to the sun provides 80 to 90% of the required vitamin D. Just spend ten to fifteen minutes between 11 am and 2 pm, two or three times a week. This average may vary depending on your skin type and the intensity of the sun’s rays.
Be careful, after 15 minutes of exposure, protect your skin with sunscreen. So take advantage of each thinning to fill up with vitamins. In addition, choose foods rich in vitamin D, such as salmon, bluefin tuna, and trout.
2 – Positive Effects of Sun Exposure on the Immune System
According to researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center, the sun’s rays strengthen the immune system. Ultraviolet light can “stimulate the activity of T lymphocytes, which are involved in defense mechanisms when the body is exposed to an infection,” explains Professor Gérard Ahern, author of the study. So to avoid getting sick, treat yourself to tanning sessions.
Solar radiation stimulates the production of white blood cells. As we all learned in the famous series ‘Once upon a time … the human body, these little balls are responsible for protecting our bodies from infections and harmful substances.
3 – Positive Effects of Sun Exposure for the Synchronization of Sleep
The light perceived by the retina is transmitted directly to the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the brain that relay the information to a small gland, the epiphysis. At the end of the day, it secretes melatonin, a hormone that makes it easier to fall asleep. The external brightness can stimulate or diminish its production. Exposure to light in the evening delays the production of melatonin and thus falling asleep. A bright exposure in the morning will, on the contrary, advance the clock.
4 – Positive Effects of Sun Exposure on Our Internal Clock
The most powerful synchronizer of biological rhythm is the light, our eyes transmitting this signal to the brain which controls the secretion of specific hormones. The functioning of the body (sleep/wake, temperature, hormones, memory …) is thus subjected to a biological rhythm set on a cycle of one day more or less 24 hours. The internal clock – located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the brain – is thus permanently resynchronized on this precise cycle.
Why does the sun have a beneficial effect on your mood? Because the light it propagates acts on your internal clock. Your biological rhythm then settles on a day of more or less 24 hours. Your sleep, your temperature, your mood, are regulated. That’s why you feel good.
5 – Positive Effects of Sun Exposure on Diseases of the Skin
Yes, the light heals (phototherapy). Everything happens not on the beach … but in the hospital, in specially developed cabins. Two types of radiation (UVA, UVB) are used against psoriasis, eczema … But beware, if UV rays seem beneficial to acne lesions that regress at first, they explode in the fall because of an inflammatory flare secondary to sun exposure.
6 – Positive Effects of Sun Exposure on Obesity
If the sun seems to keep us healthy, it also plays a role in our physical appearance. Several studies by the universities of Southampton and Edinburgh have revealed that ultraviolet light can slow the development of obesity and reduce the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
Older people have a special need for sunshine. In fact, according to a report published by Dr. Richard Weller, senior lecturer in dermatology at the University of Edinburgh, the elderly are frequently deficient in vitamin D. However, “there is a decrease in heart disease vascular and decreased deaths from all causes when sun exposure is prolonged. A few years ago, Dr. Weller’s team determined that exposure to sunlight can lower blood pressure and significantly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
7 – Better Learning
Light is a powerful stimulant for awakening and cognition. Its impact on the brain regions needed to perform a cognitive task depends on the specific color of light received over an hour ago. According to the University of Liège and Inserm. Prior exposure to an orange light helps to better perform a task than blue light, that of computers in particular. And this is by photopigment (melanopsin) suprachiasmatic nuclei that receive light reacts differently depending on the color of it.
8 – Longer Life Expectancy Thanks to the Sun’s Rays
It is often recommended to be wary of the sun and to avoid it during the hottest hours of the day in summer. The sun is not an enemy, on the contrary, it has unknown virtues that can even extend your life expectancy. Indeed, recent research has shown that sunlight is beneficial to protect against obesity, heart attacks, or strokes.
A study led by researchers at the Swedish Karolinska Institute recently showed that lack of sunlight is as bad as smoking on health. Indeed, this study, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, has tracked for 20 years the habits of 30,000 Swedish women. Scientists found that women who were often sun-exposed had a lower risk of death than women who avoided the sun. It seems that the lack of vitamin D is an aggravating factor for cardiovascular diseases.
9 – Positive Effects of Sun Exposure on Our Energy Level
The sun has a draining and revitalizing action on our bodies. Its heat stimulates blood circulation and promotes the elimination of toxins. Its slightly antibiotic action also has a positive effect on our energy. After a moderate exposure to the sun, we reloaded our batteries.
We are all the more prone to a good mood that by stimulating the manufacture of vitamin D – which also strengthens our bones – the sun acts as an antistress. It allows us to better assimilate magnesium, a trace element whose deficiency leads to the reduced form, insomnia, and anxiety.
And because the heat of our body is more in tune with the outside temperatures, we need less energy to compensate for the difference in temperature, which again gives us a sense of well-being.
10 – Positive Effects of Sun Exposure on Cholesterol Level
Sunlight helps us eliminate fats from our bodies. When we are exposed to the sun, the levels of cholesterol that accumulate in the arteries decrease, fats become vitamin D, if necessary to people with hypertension and to prevent certain types of cancer, such as breast or breast cancer. colon, among others.
11 – Positive Effects of Sun Exposure on the Arterial Pressure
The sun dilates our arteries and as a result, hypertension that is concentrated in our organs decreases.
12 – Positive Effects of Sun Exposure on Sexual Stimulation
The reason our sexual desire increases in summer is related to heat and solar radiation. Thanks to him, we produce testosterone, known as the desired hormone. This hormone is also very useful for increasing muscle and bone mass, and for preventing certain diseases such as osteoporosis.
II – Positive Effects of Sun Exposure on Morale
You may not know it, but the sunlight affects your morale.
1 – Sun Exposure to Improve Morale
In 1984, the American psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal demonstrated the link between light and depression. Since then, studies have postulated that this stimulating action on morale acted through serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of mood, sleep, and appetite. The use of light therapy for seasonal depression was validated in 2005.
2 – The Sun Has an Anti-Depressive Effect
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another. Basically, it regulates your sleep, your appetite, your memory, and your mood. People who are lacking are more prone to depression than others.
To feel better, just expose yourself to the sun for a few moments. Rays touching your retina send information to the brain, which directs your body to produce more serotonin. You are immediately in a better mood and you feel soothed.
Serotonin is the substance that produces the sensation of well-being and happiness. Thanks to the sun, its production is accelerating. It has been shown that in countries where bad weather and cloudy days predominate, citizens tend to be depressed.
3 – The Sun Makes Kind
Your hair shines in the sun, your complexion begins to hail, your new dress floats in the wind. How not be in a good mood? And that makes you a little friendlier. Your face lights up, your features relax and people find you more attractive. You are surprised even to smile while walking in the street.
This phenomenon was observed during a scientific experiment conducted by Michael Cunningham. This American psychologist has approached people in the street, posing as a member of the Department of Sociology of the University carrying out an investigation.
He offered them a questionnaire of 80 questions, asking them how many questions they wanted to answer. The survey was conducted each time on a sunny day. But the temperatures could vary between -18 and 38 °.
Thus, Cunningham observed more cooperation from participants in the spring and summer. In winter, he also got more answers if the sun shone than if the sky was cloudy. He concluded that the more the sun shone, the more people answered questions. So it is the sun, not the temperature that has the greatest effect on morale.
4 – The Sun Makes Us More Altruistic
When the weather is nice, we tend to be more generous with others, according to a study by the American psychologist Michael Cunningham in 1979 and described in the magazine Brain and Psycho (subscribers edition). The latter submitted a series of 80 questions to passers-by asking them to choose the number of questions they wanted to answer. If it was nice, whether it was hot or not, the guinea pigs answered many more questions than if the sky was cloudy and this, whatever the season. The presence or absence of the sun would, therefore, have an influence on our social behavior. The researcher also observed that under the sun, people left more tips in restaurants and were more likely to help each other.
5 – The Sun Puts Us in a Good Mood
Not only are we happy to see the sun come out after hiding for so many months, which is a reason to rejoice in itself, but its rays have a real effect on our morale. When it receives ultraviolet rays, the human body secretes endorphins. These hormones act in a positive way on our morale and give us a feeling of well-being. […]
The link between light and depression has been discovered since 1984 and the use of light therapy to chase the “seasonal depression” (this winter period during which we can have morale at half-mast) was validated in 2005. The sun acts also on the secretion of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, and appetite.
6 – It Reinforces Our Self-Esteem
And when we take the sun, many of us also take a nice tan that looks good. And what’s more gratifying than a comment on his radiant air? “The face remains the mirror of our interiority, and the good looks, the ‘proof’ that everything is fine,” says psychoanalyst Rebecca Lustman … “That’s why compliments on our brilliance and our radiance we gratify enormously on the narcissistic plan areas if we were congratulated for what we are, for the life we lead, “she adds.
As a Conclusion
It would be wrong to believe that there is nothing new in the sun. It is discovered new benefits, on the heart, against certain cancers … Provided to use it without abusing it.
As soon as the sun dares a ray, terraces, lawns, beaches fill up instantly. Naturally, everyone knows that it is indispensable to our life. As soon as it appears, the black thoughts fly away and the mood improves. The phenomenon is known. Visible light in its range of radiation conditions our biological rhythms. It penetrates through the retina, reaches the brain via the optic nerve with the effect of increasing the production of melatonin, the so-called sleep hormone, which is involved in the synchronization of body rhythms. The variation of the melatonin rate on the same day allows one to be active during the day and to sleep well at night. It is also known recently that the effects of this light also pass through the skin. With immediate effects on morale as well as health, as if a simple exposure recharged our batteries.
This is not the only virtue of the sun. Beyond the light, ultraviolet rays contribute to the consolidation of our bone structure, which we have known for a long time. Without it, our bones would be unable to fix calcium, because it is the UV rays that allow the synthesis of vitamin D, essential for this fixation – a vital role in the protection against rickets and osteoporosis. These same rays are recommended (in small doses) by dermatologists against skin diseases, such as psoriasis and vitiligo.
Tip: Sun, “ Drink in moderation! ”
Despite all the positive effects of sun exposure, including our morale, we must not abuse the sun whose rays can be dangerous by causing sunstroke, eye damage, and even skin cancer. At the heart of the summer, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends not to expose between noon and 4 pm, to wear a hat and sunglasses, and to protect oneself with sunscreen with a clue sufficiently high (more than 15) and renew the application regularly.
In fact, when sun exposure is too recurrent and lasts too long, the sun can create real burns on the skin, called “sunburns”. If they are mostly benign, they increase the risk of developing skin cancer as they are repeated. A sunburn with blisters (second-degree burns) can even leave scars on the skin and should not be taken lightly!
In truth, the sun is the main factor of skin aging and accelerates the appearance of the first wrinkles and fine lines. It can also clog the pores of the skin or dry the hair.