What happens if you don’t get enough sunlight?
You already know the dangers of getting too much sun, but what you might not realise is that not getting enough could be bad for your health, too. It’s challenging to take in some rays with the current climate of the coronavirus pandemic that’s urging people to stay home. Although, experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say it’s OK to get some fresh air as long as you are still social distancing and taking precautions.
You might want to head out for a walk, sit on your front steps, or sit near a sunny window if you recognise these signs you’re getting too little sun.
You’re feeling moody or depressed
Insufficient natural light can bring on gloomy moods. Whether you call it cabin fever, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), doctors often chalk up gloomy mood dips to lack of sunshine. “Basically, it comes down to levels of the hormone serotonin in your brain,” explains registered nurse, Wesley Delbridge. “With exposure to bright light, like sunlight, serotonin will increase.” Translation? Catch a bit of sun, and your disposition could get sunnier, too.
You’re gaining weight
Along with encouraging the skin to manufacture vitamin D, sunshine supplies the important nutrient nitric oxide, which keeps your metabolism running smoothly and discourages binge eating. A study published in the journal Diabetes found that exposure to UV rays may slow weight gain and ward off diabetes. Another 2017 Canadian study in Nature found that weight gain may be due to a lack of sunlight. More research is necessary on this topic, however, to determine a healthy duration and intensity of sunlight.