Sunshine: A Natural Mood Booster for a Brighter You.

Have you ever noticed how a bright, sunny day can lift your spirits and make you feel happier? There’s a reason why we often associate sunshine with feelings of joy and positivity. Our Health and Wellness RN Lauren King says, “Soaking up some sunlight can do wonders for your mind, bones, and more.”

One of the most significant ways that sunshine affects our mood is through the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical in our brains that plays a vital role in regulating our mood, appetite, and sleep. When sunlight hits our skin, it triggers the production of serotonin in the brain. This increase in serotonin levels can lead to feelings of happiness, relaxation, and overall well-being. Researchers at BYU found that days with plenty of sunshine were associated with better mental health. 

Exposure to sunlight also stimulates the production of vitamin D in our bodies. Vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, but it also has a significant impact on our mental health. Research has shown that low levels of vitamin D have been linked to depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and other mood disorders. Lauren says, “The sun is the best natural source of Vitamin D, and it only takes 5-15 minutes of sunlight a few times a week to notice a difference.”

Sunshine can also make us feel better by improving our sleep quality. Exposure to natural sunlight during the day can help regulate our circadian rhythm, which is our body’s internal clock that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. When our circadian rhythm is functioning correctly, we are more likely to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, leading to improved overall sleep quality.

Lauren also notes that when sunlight hits your skin, your body releases something called nitric oxide into your blood. This can help bring down your blood pressure and improve your heart health.

Finally, spending time outside in the sunshine can also help reduce stress and anxiety levels. Being in nature and getting fresh air has been shown to have a calming effect on the mind and body, leading to decreased feelings of stress and tension.

There are several ways that sunshine can make us feel better. From boosting serotonin levels to improving our sleep quality and reducing stress and anxiety, spending time outside in the sunshine can have a significant impact on our mental health and well-being. Lauren reminds us to “use sunscreen if you’ll be out in the direct sunlight for more than 15 minutes to protect your skin”. So next time you’re feeling down, consider stepping outside into the sunlight and soaking up some much-needed vitamin D.


Want to know where your Vitamin D levels are? 365 Health has a screening to check just that! Find out more information here.

365 Health can help you stay healthy all year long with affordable lab screeningsonline health assessments, and with our new affordable telehealth option, Health in Hand.