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Unveiling the Hidden Benefits of Morning Sunlight: Ultraviolet Light and Its Impact on Your Well-Being

Unveiling the Hidden Benefits of Morning Sunlight: Ultraviolet Light and Its Impact on Your Well-Being

As the sun rises, it radiates a spectrum of light that encompasses various wavelengths, including the captivating ultraviolet light. This specific light, which typically ranges between 10nm and 400nm, holds tremendous potential for our well-being. Scientists have been studying its unique benefits and uncovering its influence on our physical and mental health. Florence Nightingale described 'light and the rhythm of night and day' as two important factors in restoring physical health. Similar observations have been reported from 21st-century research undertaken in general hospital in-patient units, with studies indicating that exposure to daylight and views of the natural environment bolstered psychological coping and resilience, which in turn appeared to facilitate faster recovery after surgery Importantly, it has now been established that the interrelationship between light, sleep and health has an empirical biological basis.

Ultraviolet Light and its Positive Effects:

  • Mood Enhancement and Increased Energy Levels: Exposure to morning sunlight stimulates the release of endorphins and serotonin in the brain, leading to improved mood and increased energy levels. Incorporating morning sunlight into your routine can supercharge your motivation for the day and help you feel more energized. 
  • Improved Focus and Mental Clarity: Studies have shown that ultraviolet light stimulates the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for enhancing cognitive function. Basking in the morning sun can heighten your focus and mental clarity, providing you with an extra edge in your daily activities. 
  • Support for Circadian Rhythms: Exposure to morning sunlight, especially its ultraviolet light, helps regulate our internal body clocks, known as circadian rhythms. This synchronization promotes better sleep patterns, enhanced alertness during the day, and an overall sense of balance. 

Harnessing Morning Sunlight for Well-Being: 

  • Start Your Day with Sunlight: Incorporate a few minutes of morning sunlight exposure into your daily routine. Step outside, take a walk, or engage in a mindful activity while allowing your skin to absorb the ultraviolet light. This simple practice can have a profound impact on your overall well-being. 
  • Enjoy Outdoor Activities: Plan your workouts, yoga sessions, or other physical activities outdoors during the morning hours. Exposing yourself to the natural light can amplify the benefits of exercise, boost your mood, and increase your overall enjoyment. 
  • Protect Your Skin: While it is important to embrace the morning sunlight, it is equally crucial to protect your skin from excessive UV exposure. Apply sunscreen or wear protective clothing to shield your skin from harmful rays while still benefiting from the ultraviolet light. 

Expert Insights on Morning Sunlight and Ultraviolet Light:

  • Michael Holick: Dr. Holick is a renowned expert in the field of vitamin D and sunlight research. He has extensively studied the effects of sunlight exposure on human health, including the importance of morning sunlight for vitamin D synthesis. As a graduate student he was the first to identify the major circulating form of vitamin D in human blood as 25-hydroxyvitamin D3. He then isolated and identified the active form of vitamin D as 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. He determined the mechanism for how vitamin D is synthesized in the skin, demonstrated the effects of aging, obesity, latitude, seasonal change, sunscreen use, skin pigmentation, and clothing on this vital cutaneous process. Learn more about Dr. Holick bestseller The Vitamin D Solution
  • Richard Weller: Dr. Weller is a dermatologist and researcher who has conducted studies on the benefits of sunlight beyond vitamin D production. He has investigated the role of nitric oxide, a molecule produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight, in cardiovascular health. His discoveries linked reduced blood pressure to sunlight exposure, as per his article in the Journal of the American Heart Association, (JAHA), ”Does Incident Solar Ultraviolet Radiation Lower Blood Pressure?”. In 1996 he made the first description of nitric oxide (NO) production on the skin surface.  NO at the time was known to dilate blood vessels and thus help regulate blood pressure- work for which the discoverers received the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology in 1998- but it was also involved in control of several other functions. Developing his  work in Edinburgh on healthy volunteers, he was able to show that human skin contains large stores of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and that these are photo-reduced by UV radiation releasing NO to the circulation, with systemic effects, in particular lowering of BP.  This work is summarized in a TED talk
  • Alexander Wunsch: is Dr. Wunsch is a physician and researcher specializing in light and photobiology. He has conducted research on the effects of various wavelengths of light, including ultraviolet light, on human health and circadian rhythms. He is a world class expert on photobiology, shares the hidden dangers of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting that most people are completely unaware of. Alexander is a physician, researcher, and lecturer in light medicine and photobiology, with a particular interest in the effects of light, both beneficial and adverse, on endocrine regulation and cellular activity in humans. He conducts studies on photobiological effects of optical (ultraviolet, visible and infrared light) radiation. 
  • Dr. Rayleigh Ping-Ying Chiang: Dr. Ping-Ying Chiang is a researcher who has explored the role of red and near-infrared light in photobiomodulation and its potential therapeutic applications. His work focuses on the interaction between light and biological systems. For example, infrared light from the sun (sunlight), including its infrared component, plays essential roles in various natural processes and has numerous benefits for human health. It helps regulate circadian rhythms, supports vitamin D synthesis, and provides warmth. Dr. Chiang studies found that when photons (particles of light) are placed near the skin they enter tissues and activate chromophores (a part of a molecule that gives it its color), which triggers changes in cells, according to the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery. In addition, light therapy also affects the mitochondria (the powerhouse of cells), generating ATP (energy) to promote healing, notes the PBM Foundation. For red light therapy to work, specific protocols must be used, depending on your health issue, which is why a knowledgeable practitioner is so important. If possible, seek out this treatment from a hospital, university, or clinical setting.

The morning sunlight, with its captivating ultraviolet light, holds numerous hidden benefits for our overall well-being. By embracing this natural phenomenon, we can enhance our mood, increase energy levels, and improve mental clarity. The science behind the impact of morning sunlight and its  ultraviolet light is undeniable.

As you embark on each new day, consider incorporating a few minutes of morning sunlight exposure into your routine. Step outside, breathe in the fresh air, and allow your skin to absorb the rejuvenating ultraviolet light. Engage in outdoor activities, whether it's a morning jog, a yoga session, or simply enjoying your breakfast outside. Embrace the positive effects of morning sunlight on your physical and mental well-being.

Remember to prioritize skin protection while enjoying the morning sun. Apply sunscreen or wear protective clothing to shield your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays, while still benefiting from safe exposure to morning sunlightThe benefits of both sunlight and infrared lamps are transformative. If sunlight is not accessible then artificial infrared lighting if often recommended by physicians. Both offer benefits on a cellular level, enhance our mood, increase energy levels, and improve mental clarity. The science behind the impact of morning sunlight and its ultraviolet light is undeniable.

“Unlock the power of morning sunlight and witness the transformative impact it can have on your daily life. Embrace the natural rhythm of the sunrise and allow the ultraviolet light to energize your body, sharpen your mind, and uplift your spirit.” - Kim Highfield, CEO of SportPort Active

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