Trouble sleeping? Get more Florida sunshine

Two senior couples playing golfIt’s the time of year everyone loves in Florida…Spring. Beautiful weather and plenty of activities have us heading outdoors.  Most of us are well aware of the dangers of too much sun exposure but did you of know there are many health benefits of sunlight? When outdoors, always protect your skin and keep these benefits in mind…

Sunlight can improve sleep quality.

When sunlight hits your eyes, your optic nerve sends a message to the gland in the brain that produces melatonin (a hormone that helps you sleep); the gland decreases its secretions of melatonin until the sun goes down again. In other words, exposure to sunlight during the day increases the natural production of melatonin at night. Low levels of melatonin production are linked to poor sleep quality, especially in older adults.  Soak up the sun and sleep better tonight!

Alzheimer’s patients benefit from sunlight.

Research has shown that exposure to full-spectrum light throughout the day along with darkness at night can help improve some aspects of Alzheimer’s disease—reducing agitation, increasing sleep efficiency, decreasing nighttime wakefulness, and nighttime activity in these patients (as well as those of us without Alzheimer’s!)

Sunlight may help prevent cancer.

Research  indicates that being deficient in vitamin D increases the risk of many cancers, especially breast and colon.

Sunlight can ease depression.

Research on the link between sunlight and mood has found that sunlight actually increases levels of a natural antidepressant in the brain. On sunny days, the brain produces more of the mood-lifting chemical serotonin than on darker days.

Protect your skin, but get out and enjoy the Florida sunshine.  It’s good for you!!