This is why this sun makes us feel so damn good

We don’t know about you, but the sun has given us life. When it’s sunny, everything feels more manageable. It’s easier to get out and go for a walk, your skin looks better and you feel more alive overall. While our social lives are also slowly returning to normal, the sun is adding a big pep talk to our steps.

But what’s the science behind why it gives us that boost? What is it about the sunlight that makes our days more rewarding? If you want to know why warm weather makes us so happy, read on.

The sun is good for our mental health

Lack of sun exposure has been linked to a drop in your serotonin levels, which can lead to depression in the winter. The light-induced effects of serotonin are caused by sunlight entering through the eye. This is why people often use light therapy treatments for seasonal depression.

Sunshine is linked to better sleep

Regular exposure to sunlight promotes the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle. This stimulates the feeling of sleepiness, which makes us drift off more easily at night and also makes us happier during the day.

Our circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock that tells us when to be alert, is also regulated by melatonin, which can also make us happier.

The sun helps us build stronger bones

Exposure to the ultraviolet B radiation in the sun’s rays causes our skin to produce vitamin D, which plays a major role in building our bones.

One study found that people who wore a bathing suit for 30 minutes produced the following levels of vitamin D:

  • 50,000 international units (IUs) in most white people

  • 20,000 to 30,000 IU in tanned people

  • 8,000 to 10,000 IU in dark-skinned people

Sunlight can help prevent cancer

While it’s important to use sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, a healthy amount of sunlight actually helps prevent cancer.

People who live in areas with less daylight are more likely to develop specific cancers than people who live in areas with more sun during the day. These include colon cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphona, ovarian cancer, pancreatic and prostate cancer.

The sun is good for our skin

Have you noticed that your skin looks better in the sun? There’s a reason for this. Sun exposure can help treat a variety of skin conditions, including psoriasis, eczema, jaundice and acne, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Don’t forget to wear SPF, of course, but it’s good to know, right?

A happier skin, a happier you.

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