Does a Lack of Sunlight Actually Cause Depression?

Having some cabin fever after a few gray days is very common. When the seasons change, you might feel restless or have a lack of energy for a little while. If you deal with SAD, then you want sunlight because a lack of it can trigger a seasonal-related depression.

That’s not the only thing that a lack of sunlight can cause. Just as you don’t want too much sun so you don’t get burned or increase your risk of a skin cancer developing, you also don’t want to experience a lack of sunshine either. Here’s why.

#1. A lack of sunshine is a cancer risk. If you have a Vitamin D deficiency, then you can increase your risks of experience breast cancer or prostate cancer. It can also lead to memory loss and increase the risks of schizophrenia or dementia.

#2. It is also a risk for heart disease development. Eating too many cheeseburgers isn’t great for your heart, but a lack of sunshine is even worse. With a Vitamin D deficiency, men are twice as likely to develop heart disease than those who get enough sunshine or vitamin supplements on a daily basis.

#3. Women are more prone to SAD than men. You’re twice as likely to develop SAD because of a lack of sunshine if you’re a woman, compared to men. This risk is highest for women who are in the 18-30 age demographic.

#4. Eye development can be hampered by not having enough sunlight. For children, having exposure to sunlight is crucial for their eye development. Spending more time indoors with video games, tablets, TVs, and other forms of screen entertainment can increase their risks of being nearsighted when they get older.

#5. Insomnia can be caused by not getting enough sunlight. When you struggle to sleep for a long time, then acute insomnia turns into chronic insomnia. The lack of sleep then causes your immune system to function at reduced levels. This can slow down the speed in which the body can heal itself or combat a disease.

#6. Artificial lights offer numerous health risks. If you stay in artificial light more than sunlight, then you have increased risks for obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions.

It’s not just Vitamin D that sunlight provides the human body. It is also a supplier of nitric oxide, which is used to help regulate internal mechanisms, including the metabolism. A reduced exposure to the sun can promote increased weights, which further increases the risks of obesity. Exposure to the sun encourages healthier eating habits.

That is why SAD can be so devastating when it strikes in the winter months.

There is a solution: light therapy.

By exposing your skin to artificial light that mimics the lightwaves that sunlight provides, you can reduce the risks that occur when there is a lack of sunlight. Up to 60 minutes of light therapy per day can reduce the symptoms of SAD and help you maintain a happier and healthier lifestyle.

Don’t let a lack of sunshine get you down. A little light really can potentially cure your winter blues.

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