Getting daily sun treatment will enhance your overall health, combining time spent outdoors with new research with a better mood, better sleep and a lower lifetime risk for depression.
Sean Kane, a psychologist and sleep researcher at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, says that his previous experimental studies showed that “having a bright light during the day is very important” and that artificial light affects sleep and circadian rhythms.
In this new observational study, Cain and colleagues viewed the effect of external light exposure on sleep and mood in more than 400,000 people at the UK Biobank, the largest study of UK adults collecting all data on exercise, sleep habits, medicine, diagnostic and health effects.
People were asked about their moods, medications and the time they spent outside on a typical summer and winter day.
On average, UK adults in the study reported spending about 2.5 hours outside during the day.
Previous research has shown that spending time outdoors and in nature has a variety of health benefits, some of which may be related to natural light as the most important environmental signal to the body’s circadian rhythms.
Lack of adequate natural light can be a major cause of mood and sleep problems, which is one of the leading causes of depression and general mood disorder and global disability.
“Humans evolved in an environment with a clear distinction between day and night, but our modern environment has obscured this distinction,” the group explains in their paper.
These days, people “spend most of their waking hours in medium and artificial light conditions, due to low exposure to sunlight and relatively bright exposure to night light.”
It disrupts sleep because it suppresses the light of melatonin, the sleep-promoting hormone. Earlier studies by Cain and his team found that “a study in Melbourne” found that almost half of homes contain up to 50 percent light, which suppresses melatonin, although individual sensitivity to artificial light varies widely.
In this recent study, Cain and colleagues determined how the amount of daylight they spend outside is related to mood, sleep, and health effects.
Getting more light at any time between dawn and dusk is associated with improved mood and better sleep, as well as lower risk for depression and lower use of antidepressant medications.
Every extra hour of natural light is associated with a lower lifetime risk of depression, lower anti-depressant use and greater happiness. And those who reported better mood and slept more lightly, four years later, followed for the second time on average.
Modeling the data in this way – for a subgroup of about 20,000 people – allowed the researchers to estimate the effect of previous time spent outside on mood and then sleep effects while controlling sitting personal habits.
They were adjusted for seasonal differences, employment status, exercise, social activities and amount of sleep – all things that affect mental health.
However, since this is an observational study based on people answering questions about their daily habits and health, there may be differences between people’s actual and reported behavior. While this research suggests that going outside can help improve mood and improve sleep, it is not easy for everyone.
Absorbing some sunlight during the day is a challenge for shift workers working against normal circadian rhythms.
While some research suggests that challenging your natural body clock is not good for mental health, another recent study analyzing UK Biobank data found that people who are not aligned with their natural body clock report depression and have lower health. -Being.
Interestingly, the risk of depression, antidepressant use, and light therapy is a comparison of research results on effective but not used treatment for depression, especially in combination with medications.
The study was published in the journal Vulnerability Disorders Infectious disorders.
Source: Scientific warning
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