Sunlight starvation

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In addition to natural factors such as weather, season and latitude, with more and more people working indoors, the incidence of inadequate sunlight exposure is on the rise, particularly among Americans.

Contents

Why should I be aware of this?

  • Most of us are aware that there is a connection between sunlight and our moods. We have often witnessed that gloomy, cloudy, and rainy days obstruct the sun's healing rays and dampen our mood. In recent times, our lifestyle has also restricted our exposure to unfiltered sunlight and most of us do not get the exposure we require on a daily basis.
  • Poor incandescent or fluorescent lighting, absence of windows or covered windows (even eyeglasses) block some of the 1500 wavelengths present in sunshine from reaching the retina and nourishing the brain and body. Absence of sunlight in classrooms also affects children.

All about sunlight starvation?

When light enters the eyes, it not only allows a person to see, it also stimulates the brain's hypothalamus. The hypothalamus controls the nervous system regulating automatic and metabolic processes in the body. It also controls body temperature, hunger and thirst, water balance and blood pressure. It links the nervous system to the endocrine system.

Additionally, it controls the body's master gland, the pituitary, which secretes many essential hormones. The hypothalamus initiates the body's stress response, affects our emotions and controls immune functions. The human body clock is also located in the hypothalamus and anything that disrupts these rhythms (like inadequate sunlight) has a far-reaching impact on the body's ability to function. Incidentally, since sunlight is the most effective regulator of the body clock, it is also the quickest method of recovering from jet lag.

Studies done by scientists in 1998 showed they could reset the body clocks of people by shining bright lights onto the back of their knees. This showed that certain areas of the skin are significantly affected by light, just like the retinas of our eyes.

The hypothalamus is also connected to the pineal gland, which secretes the important hormone melatonin. Melatonin increases with decreased light. This results in a feeling of tiredness. Serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light, and falls with decreased sun exposure.

Sunlight's long legacy of healing

Sunlight has an ancient legacy of healing. Prehistoric tribes and entire civilizations revered and worshipped the sun for its healing properties. Using light to treat medical conditions (both physical and mental) came to be known as heliotherapy. The Greek city of Heliopolis, was well-known for its temples of healing sunlight. In fact, both Hippocrates and Pythagoras wrote about the many benefits of sunlight to promote healing.

Sunlight is our major source of light, warmth, and energy. It sustains not only life on earth, but also the earth itself. Sunlight provides plants with energy needed for photosynthesis. Plants in turn sustain the lives of animals and humans.

Energy from sunlight is transmitted to earth in the form of electromagnetic waves. The visible portion of this electromagnetic spectrum, containing all the colours of the rainbow, is one of the most important keys to human function.

Benefits of natural sunlight

  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Activates the synthesis of vitamin D, therefore the absorption of calcium and other minerals
  • Improve mood
  • Enhance mental awareness, concentration and productivity
  • Improve visual clarity and colour perception
  • Result in better sleep
  • Creates a positive impact on the super-charged immune system
  • Result in more energy
  • Reduce eye strain and fatigue
  • Induce greater learning ability and intelligence
  • It determines the value of the foods we eat. Foods manufactured directly from sunlight are more healthy. The lower we eat on the food chain (plants) the more vibrant our foods will be. The higher we eat on the food chain (animal products) the less quality we will recieve from the energy of light.

CopperBytes

  • About 80-90% of the U.S. population is deficient in vitamin D, which is produced in the skin upon exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
  • We have roughly 24-hour body clocks or circadian rhythms, which regulate our sleeping patterns, energy levels, hormone production and many other biological processes. Adequate sunlight is the key factor in controlling our body clock.
  • A lack of sunlight can also cause mood disorders such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or the “winter blues”, particularly in the darker seasons of the year. Serotonin, a brain hormone associated with mood elevation, increases with exposure to light.
  • Hormone melatonin increases with less light, making us feel tired
  • There is a close inverse relationship between cancer mortality and levels of ultraviolet-B light rays, particularly in cancer of the prostate, colon, breast and ovaries.
  • Sun exposure is also important in keeping our immune system strong, exerting an anti-inflammatory response.
  • In fact, there is a preponderance of scientific evidence to indicate that decreased sunlight and subsequently lower vitamin D levels are closely related to our risk of acquiring the flu, particularly during the winter.

90 degrees

In most cities air pollution results in a haze and blocks sunlight greatly. Recent fears of skin cancer have people avoiding sunlight, applying sunscreen and wearing sunglasses.

References

  • Sunlight Starvation Starts in Your Brain
  • Are you a victim of sunlight starvation ?