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  • Writer's pictureSandy Jolles

What Sunlight Therapy is And How It Can Promote Well-Being and Health

While darkness offers unique benefits for our health and well-being, such as improving our sleep, too much of it can be bad. This is where sunlight therapy comes in to help.  

Read on to learn what this therapeutic method is, how it works, and what benefits it provides.


What is Sunlight Therapy?

Sunlight therapy, also known as light therapy or phototherapy, is a method where you expose yourself to natural or artificial light for a specific duration to experience some therapeutic benefits.

 

It can be as simple as going for a 30-minute walk in the morning to soak up as much sunlight as possible.


How Does Sunlight Therapy Work?

According to experts, sunlight and light therapy work to improve your health in a few ways:

  • Exposing your body to light, especially natural light, at the correct times of the day can help regulate your circadian rhythm, leading to more stable sleeping patterns

  • It can help with the production of serotonin in the brain; this neurotransmitter plays a crucial role in mood regulation

  • Light exposure can boost alertness and focus, helping you feel better, perform well on various tasks, and have more motivation throughout the day

  • Specifically, when it comes to sunlight, regular exposure can support healthy vitamin D levels, which we’ll discuss below



What Benefits Does Light Therapy Offer?

1. It Can Boost Well-Being

By supporting your sleep, regulating serotonin production, and boosting alertness and focus, phototherapy can support your well-being and reduce the risk of conditions like depression and anxiety. 


2. It May Help Regulate Your Circadian Rhythm

As mentioned above, light exposure at the right time of day can help regulate your circadian rhythm, which can positively impact sleep patterns. 

Given sleep’s crucial importance for overall health and well-being, this is worth exploring in future research.


3. A Boost in Vitamin D

Did you know that vitamin D deficiency is a widespread problem that affects more than a billion people worldwide? That’s roughly one in eight people. 

While seemingly inconsequential, a vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of depression, anxiety, loss of bone mass, osteoporosis later in life, muscle weakness, and general fatigue.

 Regular sunlight exposure allows the body to produce vitamin D (which is actually a hormone), reducing the risk of these adverse effects.


4. It’s Not Associated With Side Effects

Light therapy is incredibly safe and natural, ideal for almost everyone. 

The only people who should approach light therapy with caution are those with light sensitivity and a family history of skin cancer (in the case of sunlight exposure).


5. It’s Non-Invasive, Accessible, and Free

Unlike certain therapies, light exposure is not burdensome and doesn’t interfere with everyday life. 

 Plus, light therapy is incredibly accessible (all you have to do is step outside or turn a light on) and doesn’t cost you a dime.


Conclusion

While often overlooked, light therapy is beginning to gain popularity among health-conscious people, particularly those who battle mental health disorders like depression.

 With experts now paying more attention to it, we should hopefully see new research in this area over the next few years.

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