Sunlight for better mental health

There were a study that proves the association of darkness and depression. In the studies, neuroscientist kept their test subjects (rats) in the dark for 6 weeks. The animals not only exhibited depressive behavior but also suffered damage in brain regions known to be underactive in humans during depression.

There are disorders that are directly related to lack of sunlight like SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and “winter blues”. SAD is a depression that occurs during the fall and winter months when sunlight is not abundant and “winter blues” is a condition not as serious as SAD. An estimate of 10 – 12 million people in the US suffer from SAD and about 25 million suffer from “winter blues”.

Your body is designed to be in sun. In your internal body clock, you tend to feel tired and sleepy when its dark or at night and tend to be more active when sun comes up. Internal clock does much more than just help you sleep in the evening. Your body actually has many internal clocks -- in your brain, lungs, liver, heart and even your skeletal muscles -- and they all work to keep your body running smoothly by controlling temperature and the release of hormones, some of which impact your mood.

To have better mental health, we should enough exposure to the sunlight. During summer, it is advised that you should spend some time in the sun. If you live in the US, keep in mind that come late September till late March the sun is lower in the sky for most of the day, which means that a light-skinned person may need longer than 20 minutes in the sun each day, and a dark-skinned person could need one hour to 90 minutes to get all of the benefits of sunlight.
Since it can be impractical to move places during winter, you can try using light bulbs in your home and office with full-spectrum versions that simulate the qualities of natural outdoor sunlight.

For more details on sunlights natural benefits, visit Mercola Natural Health Articles