Heading outdoors for small pockets – think ﬁve to 15 minutes – of UV exposure twice or thrice weekly is good for you, say experts from the World Health Organization. You stand to reap the following beneﬁts.
Boost your mood
The low feeling you get when it’s gloomy and rainy outside is real; our emotions are affected by the weather. One of the easiest ways to perk up is to get some sunlight. Doing so can naturally increase the levels of serotonin – a chemical that helps to regulate mood balance – in your body. A deﬁcit of serotonin has been linked to depression.
Lower blood pressure
In a study by the University of Edinburgh, researchers found that volunteers who were exposed to UV rays for 20 minutes had signiﬁcantly lower blood pressure levels for an hour compared to those who were not. Sunlight helps the body produce nitric oxide, which in turn reduces blood pressure for better heart health.
Strengthen your bones
You can increase your body’s levels of vitamin D through some UV exposure. Having enough D also helps in calcium and phosphorous absorption, which translates to better bone health.
Score deeper sleep
One of the most important functions of sunlight is regulating your sleep-wake cycles, also known as your body’s circadian rhythm. During the day, light exposure signals that it’s time to wake up and get active. And when it’s dark, melatonin levels increase and you start to feel drowsier as you prep for bedtime. For this same reason, it’s always best to sleep in a cool, dark environment. Light leaks at night can confuse your circadian rhythm, and make it more difficult to fall asleep and wake up when you want to.