7 Key Reasons Why You Need Sunlight
One of the most successful health industry campaigns launched in Australia in 1981, when "Sid the Seagull" danced to the tune of SLIP on a shirt, SLOP on sunscreen and SLAP on a hat.
Despite this campaign being engrained in to the Aussie psyche and raising awareness about the dangers of over exposure to intense UV, it's interesting to note that the incidence of melanoma - the most lethal form of skin cancer - has increased since then.
Unfortunately, modern populations have been taught to fear the sun, rather than respect and embrace it, for its warmth, nourishment and health and healing properties.
For this reason, its so important to have a more conscious, common-sense approach to making sunlight a key part of your overall self care routine, starting with the insights and wisdom we will share with you here.
The Power of Sunlight & Ancient Wisdom
Since the beginning of time, Sunshine has been a vital source of life on earth and worshipped as a natural, divine gift.
Without sunlight, life on earth would hardly exist and the world would be a dark and sad place. In fact, the impact of sunlight on mental and emotional wellbeing, is also highlighted by the fact the highest rates of depression and suicides are mostly in bleak, northern countries where the sun only shines for limited days each year.
Unfortunately, people in modern developed countries have been brainwashed for decades into believing that the sun is bad and harmful.
In fact, this is probably one of the biggest pharmaceutical lies that has ever been perpetrated on the masses, primarily in order to promote the sale of chemical-based sunscreens.
This lie is in itself is a problem, because not only do most sunscreens block UV rays, but they are also laced with petroleum-based chemicals that fast track their way into the blood stream.
Anciently, it was understood that the divine forces of "Father-Sun" and "Mother-Earth" were created for purposes of cultivating life. Cultures observed that all living creatures on earth depend on sunlight for warmth, energy and the sustainment of all living things.
In addition, they acknowledged that the eyes are 'the portals' through which sunlight enters the body, and realised the profound impact that the sun can have on healing once's mental state and emotions.
Learn more in Sun Gazing: An Ancient Practice With Modern Day Benefits
There are seven compelling reasons why you need sunlight to reap all of the health and wellbeing benefits it provides. Here, we reveal why sunlight is crucial to your longevity and why it should be embraced - not feared - as a vital part of your overall self care routine.
1. Boosts Your Happiness
There’s no denying that heading outside on a bright, sunny day makes you feel happier and refreshed. This is due to the incredible uplifting colour and warmth that sunshine delivers.
Sunlight is nature's brightest "happiness pill" because it triggers your brain to release the mood-boosting hormone, Serotonin.
By exposing your face and body to a moderate amount of sunlight, particularly in the morning when it's at its least intense, you’ll stimulate emotional wellbeing and balance without you even realising it.
In reverse, a lack of sunlight can actually lead to depression, and this can repeat itself on a seasonal basis if you regularly avoid the sun.
Learn more in our blog Tips to Heal & Prevent Depression Naturally.
2. Improves Your Sleep
Sleep is absolutely crucial for your health and happiness, so you need to honour the process of sleep and ensure that you're getting enough at all costs.
Sunlight and vitamin D can actually help you sleep better and more easily, because of the nourishment and wellbeing effects the sun provides.
Without quality sleep every night, it can affect everything from your stress levels, emotional balance and your ability to repel illness and disease. That's why, anything you can do naturally to help get yourself to sleep and stop counting sheep, is worth its weight in gold!
One of the most documented healing attributes of sunlight, is its ability to encourage sleep by increasing the release of melatonin at night, which is the hormone that makes you feel sleepy and keeps you asleep. By increasing your exposure to moderate sunlight, you can help stimulate melatonin production.
If you don't get enough sunlight regularly, you’ll put yourself at risk for disrupting your circadian rhythm - that is your body's sleep/wake cycle - which can lead to anxiety, depression and compromised immunity.
Extra tip for better sleep: Certain pure essential oils such as Lavender, Chamomile and Bergamot are renowned for their calming qualities to help support a restful night's sleep. Diffuse a few drops beside your bed, or gently apply to the chest, temples, soles of your feet or linen at bed time.
3. Supports Bone Strength
Sunlight triggers the liver to release Vitamin D, which promotes absorption of dietary calcium from the intestines and plays a key role in regulating calcium deposits into the bones for strength.
As you get older, your body naturally decreases in bone mass and makes you more susceptible to injury and bone fragility, which can lead to osteoarthritic conditions.
By getting enough sunlight, you'll be getting enough vitamin D to help absorb calcium for bone protection.
Learn more in Understanding Calcium & Bone Health.
4. Strengthens Immune System
A strong immune system is vital for staving off illness and disease, whilst keeping you healthy without the need for medical intervention.
Vitamin D has been shown to be a great booster to the immune system and can help it work more effectively by signalling it to activate and monitor the body for signs of free radical intruders and pathogens.
Whilst Vitamin D is available in certain foods, sunlight is by far the most potent source. By exposing yourself to more sunlight, you’re actively fortifying your immune system to repel sickness, disease and to maintain healthy overall body function.
5. Helps You Maintain a Healthy Weight
If you’re working to stay in shape and maintain a healthy weight, the sunlight can actually help you.
Not only does sunlight help encourage you to get outside and move, activate your senses and work up a sweat, studies show that just 30 minutes of sun exposure can help you lower your BMI (Body Mass Index) and shrink fat cells, helping you to burn body fat.
The natural healing powers of sunlight can also help reduce your blood pressure, which can help you avoid stroke and heart disease.
Learn more in 6 Healthy Ways to Lose Weight & Keep it Off
6. Supports Healthy, Glowing Skin
If you’ve ever suffered from skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema or acne, sunlight is one of the most helpful natural remedies.
Responsible exposure to sunlight can greatly impact your skin quality and texture due to the nutrient density of sunlight penetrating the pores of your skin.
Of course, it's not wise to expose your skin for extended periods in the heat of the day, however with 30-45 minutes of exposure mid morning low intensity sunlight, you will gain all of the healing benefits of sunshine without burning or irritation.
7. Helps Prevent Cancer
Last but absolutely not least, sunlight is powerful enough to help fight and prevent a host of cancers like breast, prostate, pancreatic, colon, skin and ovarian.
Yes, you might have heard that too much sunlight can cause skin cancer, but the reality is that responsible exposure to sunlight can actually help reduce your risk of melanoma.
Those who live in areas with less sunlight are more likely to become mal-illuminated and develop these specific types of cancers than those who don’t, making it a good reason for you to get outside and sparingly soak up the healing benefits of sunlight regularly.
What really causes skin cancer?
The truth is that the sunlight is not the main cause of skin cancer.
Yes, excessive, irresponsible exposure to the sun can be damaging to your skin long term if you over do it, but what really causes skin cancer are:
- Mal-illumination - due to not getting enough protective Vitamin D that supports overall wellness, that is mainly obtained from sunlight;
- Not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the temperate zone in which you live that flood your cells with antioxidants;
- Big brand sunscreens that contain harmful petrochemicals that are known carcinogens that seep into the blood stream.
Learn more in Sunscreen: Prevent Or Cause Skin Cancer
How to avoid sunburn
Common sense says that if you spend endless hours exposing your bare body to the sun during the hottest part of the day, that you'll probably burn, feel uncomfortable and cause damage to your skin.
But do realise this...
People are generally much more susceptible to sunburn when they have nutritional deficiencies in their diet, mostly caused by eating and drinking "food-less foods" and "life-less drinks".
If you avoid processed chemical and refined foods and move to a diet rich in locally sourced whole foods, within a fairly short space of time, you'll notice your skin has a lot more tolerance to the sun before it starts to burn, allowing you to absorb more of the sun's nutrients.
This is why populations of tropical island nations who tend to eat less processed food and who have frequent exposure to sunlight, normally experience far fewer cases of skin cancer.
Important Note: If you're going to be spending excessive time in the sun e.g. boating, surfing, hiking etc. you can protect your skin for longer periods without harmful chemicals, by using our Sun Loves Me tox-free sun screen, or find a brand you can trust from your local health food store.
The Main Takeaway
The vital importance of sunlight to your health, happiness and longevity cannot be underestimated. So rather than fear the sun, it's far better to respect and embrace it.
Just be sensible about what you use for sunscreen and how long you spend in the sun and you'll access the vast health benefits of sunshine without any harm, just as nature intended.
The basic reality is that, most people need more sunlight not less.
And this is a key to not only experiencing less sickness and being happier today, but also setting yourself up to avoid a host of chronic diseases down the road.
Tolman Self Care.