With the UK enjoying an early heat wave this weekend and summer on the way everyone is getting excited about the warm, sunny days ahead.
Sunlight boosts our mood by releasing serotonin, creates Vitamin D to help our immune systems.
Of course there are risks to be aware of too. Too much sun runs the risk of burning and skin cancer. So cover up and stay out of the sun during the brightest parts of the day.
Serotonin is the hormone triggered by the sun during the day and it helps to keep the body awake and focussed and the mind happy and calm. Sunlight can combat depression and stress – a lack of sunlight in the winter can cause Seasonal Affective Depression which is treated by high strength artificial sunlight from lamps. The human body is very in tune with light, even in the modern world.
Later on in the day, darkness causes the hormone melatonin to be released. This causes sleepiness and helps you fall asleep easily.
This whole process, the circadian rhythm, can get disrupted and evidence of that is also often seen in the summer with holidays to different time zones. Jet lag occurs when your body’s circadian rhythm and the time zone clash. You need a few days to adjust and it can be unpleasant and disorienting.
Another way we disrupt our body’s natural rhythm is with our mobile phones. The artificial “blue” light from the screen mimics sunlight and sends messages to the body to continue producing the daytime serotonin hormone – even if you are in bed trying to go to sleep.
Just like jet lag this can disrupt your circadian rhythm and sleep patterns, leading to sleep deprivation. It causes health problems from obesity and diabetes to stress and heart disease. You can read more on the link between blue light, sleep deprivation and health risks in Blue Light Explained.
A good balance of light at the appropriate time of day has all sorts of benefits for the body. But put that out of sync with the natural circadian rhythms and it can cause the opposite with all sorts of health risks. Just as covering up with sunscreen helps with one of those problems, WaveWall Sleep is a screen protector that blocks the harmful blue light from your phone.
Are you a sun worshipper or do you prefer to stay in the shade?
Share your thoughts in the comment section below!