When you think of the sun, your first thought might be about the damage it causes. Even though too much of it can cause several kinds of serious health issues, small amounts, especially early in the day before it’s at its brightest, can be good for you in some ways, of which some are:
Enhancement of your mood and emotional well being.
Sunlight helps boost a chemical in your brain called serotonin, and that can give you more energy and helps keep you calm, positive, and focused. Doctors sometimes treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and other types of depression linked to low levels of serotonin with natural or artificial light.
You get to enjoy your sleep better.
Your eyes need light to help set your body’s internal clock. Early morning sunlight in particular seems to help people get to sleep at night. This may be more important as you age because your eyes are less able to take in light and more likely to have problems going to sleep.
The sun's UV rays help your body make this nutrient, which is mostly important for your bones, blood cells, and immune system. It also helps you take in and use certain minerals like calcium and phosphorus.
Morning light also seems to help people shred some fat off. You need 20 to 30 minutes between 8am and 10am to make a difference, but the earlier you get it, the better it seems to work. Scientists think the sun’s rays may shrink fat cells below your skin’s surface.
Sunlight can also be used as treatment.
In addition to some skin issues, filtered sunlight also can be used to treat a condition called jaundice that mostly affects newborns. It happens when there’s too much of the chemical bilirubin in the blood, and it makes a baby’s skin look slightly yellow. Putting the baby in sunlight behind a window (to filter out the harmful kinds of rays) may help get rid of the bilirubin. Never put a newborn in direct sunlight outside.
Moderate amounts of sun over your lifetime, especially in your teen and young adult years, might make you less likely to have problems seeing things at a distance (nearsightedness). But too much direct sunlight can hurt your eyes. It can lead to blurred vision and raise your chances of cataracts.
Regular, small amounts of ultraviolet light may help ease the symptoms of certain skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and vitiligo.
Too much time outside without protecting your skin with sunscreen can cause your skin to age faster, causing wrinkles, a leathery texture, and dark spots. Sunburned skin uses white blood cells from your immune system to heal and this can affect your body’s ability to fight off germs and make you more likely to get sick.
Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that block UV light and broad-brimmed hats whenever you’re outside for a while.
How much of the sun is enough?
This answer is different for everyone. It depends on your skin tone, age, health history, diet, and where you live. In general, scientists think 5 to 15 minutes and up to 30 if you’re dark-skinned will be ok not to have any health problems.
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