Brain Benefits of Sunshine
Have you ever missed the sun after a few cloudy days or a long winter? When you spend time in the sun, it not only brightens your day but can have many brain health benefits!
Two of the main things we get from spending time in the sun that can benefit our brain are:
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D Supports Brain Health
One of the main benefits that we can get directly from the sun is vitamin D. When our bodies obtain vitamin D, it is believed to boost cognitive function and support muscle, bone, and joint health! To safely get the vitamin D-boosting benefits of the sun, researchers suggest receiving 5-15 minutes of sunlight on your face, arms, or hands two to three times a week. After 15 minutes, be sure to put sunscreen and sunglasses on.
Sun Exposure May Increase Serotonin Levels
Research suggests sun exposure can increase our brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Studies have shown that serotonin may have the ability to improve our mood and help us feel calm and focused. To trigger serotonin-producing reactions in the brain, all you need to do is sit close to a window or within a few feet of sunlight. In the winter or on cloudy days, you can use a light box that mimics the sun to trigger the same reaction.