A daily dose of natural sunlight is essential for optimal health. Not only does sunlight help our body produce Vitamin D, doctors are now discovering that natural sunlight may be essential for our emotional well-being. Believe it or not, some eye doctors believe a bit of sunlight every day could prevent blindness.
Recent studies have shown that when sunlight hits our eyes it goes straight into the hypothalamus. This small gland located in the center of our brains handles numerous important tasks every day.
Just a few of the things the hypothalamus is in charge of include regulating body temperature, letting us know when we're in need of food or drink, and controlling our blood pressure. As if those tasks weren't enough, the hypothalamus also plays an important role in regulating our mood. The hypothalamus works directly works with the pituitary gland, which stores our bodies' most important hormones.
Another important reason to get a decent amount of sunshine each day is to help set our internal circadian rhythm. Yes, the hypothalamus regulates this rhythm as well. An unbalanced circadian rhythm can really harm our sleep cycle.
Unfortunately, the blue light given off by many of our electronics is causing a great deal of confusion in our bodies. The overexposure to artificial lights and the under exposure to natural sunlight is a main cause for sleep-related problems nowadays. Half-joking, A few scientists have called our lack of natural sunlight in the modern world a bad case of "mal-illumination."
Perhaps the worst things for our eye and brain health today are light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The long-term effects of viewing LED lighting will have deleterious effects on our eyes if left unchecked.
Although LEDs save a ton of energy, they let off no infrared to protect our eyes from the negative effects of blue light. Instead, LED lighting produces reactive oxygen species (ROS), which have been linked to retina damage.
The problem isn't with blue light per se. In fact, we need a bit of blue light to produce a healthy dose of melatonin in our bodies. However, this blue light must always be well balanced with red or infrared frequencies. These frequencies were actually well balanced in the incandescent light bulbs of the past.
Although incandescent light bulbs are harder to find nowadays, the sun can still provide us with the right balance of infrared and blue light. Going for a walk outdoors and allowing the sun to hit our skin and eyes is mandatory for good health, especially in our technologically sophisticated times.
Recent tests have shown that regular exposure to sunlight can actually reverse the symptoms of age-related macular degeneration. Perhaps even more amazingly, exposure to sunlight every day can reverse symptoms o hypothyroidism.
Doctors recommend getting a minimum of 10 minutes of direct sunlight every day. Most experts suggest using incandescent bulbs or candles rather than LED lighting if possible. Also, everyone should shut off all electronic screens two hours before going to bed to help with melatonin production.