It's the small things: Daylight in Winter

Sunday, October 05, 2014

The science

Getting enough daylight each day is important for your health for several reasons. Not only does it help your body make enough vitamin D, but scientists believe that daylight helps us to stop producing the hormone melatonin, which is responsible for telling our bodies when it’s time for sleep. Producing too much melatonin from a lack of daylight can leave you feeling low and tired, particularly during the winter.  

How to make it a routine

During the winter months, try to arrange your day so you get as much natural daylight as possible. Walking to work, incorporating a walk on your lunch break, and generally trying to be outside for as much is feasible can really help, as well as surrounding yourself with brighter colours.

The outcome

The right amount of daylight can help to lift your mood and keep you motivated during the darker months. As well as getting more daylight, the exercise of being outside can also help your general health. However, make sure you protect your skin when exposing yourself to sunlight using the appropriate SPF sun cream - you can still get sun damage in winter.

Sources

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/winter-blues-sad.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/winter-tiredness.aspx

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/seasonal-affective-disorder/how-can-i-help-myself/#.VCKCg_ldXD4

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