Close your eyes and think of the ideal vacation — for many, this dream involves a sunny paradise with sandy beaches. But sunshine doesn’t only feel good and look good when you post photos of your tropical getaway to social media — sunshine itself is good.
The benefits of sunlight are endless, from improving your sleep to boosting your immune system and even losing weight. Discover 10 benefits of sunlight and see how you can enjoy the perks of sunshine year-round with a sunroom.
1. Excellent Source of Vitamin D
Playing in the sun to get vitamin D isn’t just something we tell kids to get them outdoors — it’s true. Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphate, nutrients that keep your bones and teeth healthy.
Sunshine is the best source of vitamin D because it’s natural, free and feels good. Your body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on your skin. During warmer months, getting all the vitamin D you need from sunlight is easy, but it’s a bit more difficult during the colder months. Thankfully, a well-designed sunroom can be an effective way of receiving vitamin D through your windows year-round.
2. Kills Bacteria and Germs
Old wives’ tales sound spectacular until someone proves them true. You may have heard your grandmother say to open the windows because sunshine kills bacteria and germs and now there is evidence to support this!
In a study on sunlight and bacteria, researchers found that rooms with sunlight had lower levels of bacteria compared to darker rooms. So, letting in the sun’s rays can contribute to a healthier home and prevent the spread of germs.
3. Sleep Quality Improvement
Nothing beats the feeling of sunlight streaming through your window in the morning. Sunlight signals the start of a new day and makes it easier to get out of bed and start your morning. But light is more than a great alarm clock — it can also be an effective sedative.
The theory is that as soon as natural light enters your eyes, special cells in your retina alert your brain to stop producing melatonin, the sleep hormone. So light helps you sleep by synchronizing your body’s internal clock or circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle that sets your sleep and wake patterns. The brain knows when to start making melatonin again when your body’s internal clock is in sync with day and night.
4. Improves Mood
It turns out that sunshine and a cheerful mood go hand in hand. If you’ve spent a long day in the sun, you might notice you have a more positive attitude. Research reveals that people who live in areas with more sun exposure have fewer symptoms of depression and mental health distress, so getting plenty of sunlight can help you feel better.
5. Supports Bone Health
Sunlight can improve bone health by providing more natural vitamin D, which plays a crucial role in bone strength. Your body needs calcium for optimal bone health and vitamin D helps your body to absorb more calcium. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to bones becoming brittle, so it’s easy to see how vitamin D is vital for protecting against osteoporosis.
6. Lowers Blood Pressure
If you suffer from high blood pressure, or have a history of hypertension in your family, sunlight might be the answer. Studies show that higher sunlight levels correlate with lower blood pressure by increasing levels of nitric oxide (NO). Sunlight is also great for your cardiovascular health, as heart health and blood pressure are connected.
7. Aids Eye Health
You are probably used to hearing that light isn’t great for your sight with suggestions like avoiding standing too close to the TV, scrolling on your phone for too long and looking directly at the sun. All these statements hold true, but new evidence also shows that sunlight benefits your eyes.
The research focused on children, but it suggests that the bright light we get outside helps kids develop and maintain the correct distance between the lens and the retina. The study also hints that children’s eyes can fail to develop properly if they spend too little time outside and this can lead to nearsightedness.
There is another vital connection between light and your eyes — your brain. Our eyes receive light and send signals to our brain about what we see and what time of day it is, which influences your circadian rhythm.
However, always make sure you balance your eyes’ need for natural light with sufficient eye protection.
8. Can Help Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression connected to the seasons. Researchers have yet to understand the exact nature of SAD, but it is true that a lack of sun can make you depressed.
Symptoms of SAD include:
- Depressive episodes that coincide with fall or winter for at least two consecutive years.
- Problems sleeping during the fall and winter months.
- A loss of appetite that coincides with fall or winter.
- Feelings of lethargy and agitation during colder months.
You have seen how sunshine boosts your mood, your immune system and your health. A sunroom is beneficial during fall and winter as it provides a safe and sunny space throughout the year. You can also try light therapy for SAD.
9. Boosts Your Immune System
Suffering from a cold isn’t fun, but did you know a little sunlight can help you feel better? Getting more vitamin D from sunlight exposure can actually reduce instances of acute respiratory tract infections, according to a recent study. There is even a field of study called photoimmunology that shows the effects sunlight has on our cell functions and the immune system.
Of course, you can also take vitamin D supplements to boost your immune health, but there are so many great benefits of getting some time in the sun that it’s worth it.
10. Weight Loss
If only losing weight could be as easy as getting a tan. It might be! If you think about it, you have probably seen this for yourself — we tend to pickup weight in the winter and then lose some weight when the weather warms. Many people are more active in the warmer months, which can account for some of this weight loss. Getting outside more often can also prompt people to create healthier habits and spend more time on active pursuits, which are proven to help people stay fit and mobile.
Additionally, researchers have also discovered that sunlight can shrink certain fat cells in the body. These findings are especially great news for people with type 1 diabetes and other conditions like obesity and heart disease.
Enjoy the Benefits of Outdoor Living Indoors
PAsunrooms helps you bring the benefits of the sun indoors with our variety of sunroom styles and convenient financing options. Enjoy the wonders of light year-round with a custom sunroom solution for your property. Review our sunroom options and take a glance through our gallery to see what’s possible.
Contact us for a free consultation today!