Catch Those Rays

At this time of year our bodies can be missing out on regular sunlight and enjoying the many benefits of producing Vitamin D such as boosting immunity, improving sleep quality, improving mood and stimulating brain function.

One surprising benefit of sunlight is that it is capable of killing bacteria. Drying your washing outside helps to clear away a percentage of bacterial flora found lurking on clothing, alongside that fresh scent of the outdoors!

The University of Edinburgh released a study where the findings showed UVA rays in sunlight exposure releases a compound in the body called Nitric Oxide that reduces blood pressure in the circulatory system. So get outside, take a deep breath and marvel in the knowledge that you are reducing your blood pressure naturally.

We are all constantly being told to make sure we have enough sleep but did you know that exposure to sunlight actually improves your sleep quality? Mobile phones and devices emit a light similar to that of the sun’s which inhibits the release of melatonin in the body. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for the sleep-wake cycle. The more sunlight you get, the more time your body has to stockpile melatonin production therefore making you sleepy when it is dark.

As always with everything in life we are reminded to do it in moderation. This definitely applies to exposure to the sun. We recommend applying Factor 50 sunscreen, especially on your face and hands as this will help counteract the ageing effects of sunlight. Particularly important if you use skincare products containing Retinol, as these amplify the potential for sun damage. Just 10 – 30 minutes of sunlight a few times per week will be enough to produce Vitamin D and when the weather is warm make sure you avoid midday sun when it is at it’s hottest.

Your Chiropractor can recommend daily stretching exercises you could incorporate on your daily walk, helping you to soak up the sunlight even on a grey February day!