You know the sun is important. After all, it’s the giver of life for plants, animals and humans. Without the sun, life on Earth would not exist; it’s the planet’s energy source. Thus, you need the sun to stay healthy. Most folks have no real realization that sunlight contains Vitamin D. And, vitamin D is important to the body in many ways such as preventing diabetes, obesity, rickets, cancer, osteoporosis and depression. Of course, an overexposure of sunlight increases one’s risk for cancer and other diseases.
Yes, you read right! Vitamin D is beneficial in treating depression. Keep in mind that during the winter months, more and more people suffer with depression, which is partially because the sun is not as strong as it is during the summer.
Depression Symptoms: How Do You Know You’re Suffering From It?
You might be wondering how you know if you’re experiencing the symptoms of depression. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you feel hopeless or helpless?
- Are you restless or irritable?
- Are you criticizing yourself for mistakes and faults that you perceive?
- Are you experiencing unintended weight loss or gain?
- Are you not enjoying the things you used to do?
- Are you having problems sleeping?
- Do you feel like you have no energy whatsoever?
- Do you have aches and pains you can’t explain?
- Are you having problems remembering things?
If you have answered yes to more than one question and don’t have any other reason as to why that may be, you could be suffering with depression.
How Does The Sun Help With Depression Symptoms?
Again, the sun has vitamin D and vitamin D is what you need to treat your depression and its symptoms. It does this by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain. That’s why your mood is better during the summer months than the winter ones. It’s also the reason that, during the overnight hours, the levels of serotonin decrease while the level of melatonin (sleep hormone) increase. Serotonin is a necessity to keep your mood balanced.
How Much Sun Is Enough?
It’s not really clear how much sun is needed to keep the levels of serotonin up and depression at bay. The reason is that there are several factors at play:
- Where one lives
- Sun exposure level
- Type of skin
But, according to experts, it’s best to get enough sun without burning, usually 20 minutes at a time during the summer. In the winter season, you’ll need to spend more time outdoors or consume vitamin D supplements and foods with the vitamin.