The first day of Spring is approaching and I find myself writing in the sunshine, with the light mood that only a day of glorious weather can offer you. And I’m thinking that this is exactly the right time to share my love for sunshine and, more importantly, 4 good reasons to love sunshine, aka the great benefits that sunshine exposure has on our wellbeing.

Sunshine is probably one of the most important things that regulates our existence and yet we totally take it for granted. We merely consider it in terms of determining what to wear, or what activity to plan, and we are lost to the importance it has in our health, and the connection we have with it.

My love for sunshine

This wonderful warm day of March feels like a blessing. I can feel my body reacting to the warmth… It feels like coming to life again and shaking off the last crumbles of winter. The increased hours of light have worked in the background since the beginning of February, their benefits slowly building up inside myself. And I can’t help but feel like a plant, that all of a sudden, from the apparent death of winter, explodes with gorgeous gems, and you realise that the life was there all along, and invisibly sustained it from the inside during winter.

My energy levels are boosted by every ray of sunshine I get under, the longer and sunnier the day, the more powerful the boost.

It really feels like I come really alive only in the summertime.

My love for sunshine is something that has deep roots in my childhood, and the place where I was born, Rome. I was born at the beginning of August, under the sun that the Italians call “Solleone”, which translates with “Lion sun/Leo sun”, the hottest “Sun” and time of the year. When the sun shines unperturbed for days, until it is almost all you can feel. When all you can think of is sneaking off to the beach and diving into the sea, to find the perfect breeze and just be.

Sunlight affects us deeply

Sunshine Power

Well, this might or might not have a connection with the fact that I thrive in the sunshine, but the truth is, whether you share my same love for sunshine or not:

first- sunshine is a powerful force in our life,

second – it influences us in a profound way.

The daylight and the sun rays regulate the circadian rhythms of our organism, as human beings, and of the majority of the other species, between animals and plants.

The right measure: the secret to maximise sunshine benefits

A word of caution is needed, just in case. Praying the sunshine merits is not an invitation to bask in the sun all day at 30 degrees without any protection! The ideal direct sun light exposure is of 10/15 minutes every day, according to your skin type and to where you live. After this time you can enjoy the sunshine using adequate protections, like 50+ UV screen, sunglasses and hats, or going in the shade if appropriate, according again to your skin type an where you are in the world. But let me show you the good side of the sun.

I hope you are ready to dive in the 4 good reason to love sunshine? And enjoying it in a balanced and smart way? Keep on reading, as here they come.


4 good reasons to love sunshine


1 – Sunshine helps us setting our clock and improves sleep!

We should expose our eyes to direct sunlight at least 15 minutes every day to maximize the regulation of our sleep/wake rhythms. Again, sunshine regulates our circadian rhythms by telling our body to check melatonin levels and decrease its production before the time we go to sleep. In other words, it helps our body set its internal clock. This is really important to guarantee a good quality of sleep, and to consequently improve the regeneration process our brain goes through during the sleeping hours!

More sunshine = Better sleep = Healthier brain. If this isn’t a win-win situation, I don’t know what is!

Decreasing sunlight regulates melatonin production

2 – Sunshine exposure is main source of the vitamin D production, to maintain our bones and lift our mood!

Exposing at least the 17% of our skin to direct sunlight for 10/15 min everyday day is all our body needs to produce vitamin D. Under this level of exposure our body might not be able to produce enough vitamin D.

The lack of sunshine therefore might put you at risk of vit. D deficiency: Vitamin D is essential to enable our body to grow the bones properly. Furthermore, our body uses vitamin D to absorb calcium from the food we eat, and it increases directly the bones’ mineralization percentage. Without it our organism can’t develop and maintain a healthy bone structure!

Sunshine activates vitamin D

The vitamin D that our body uses is formed under our skin after sun exposure. The UV rays triggers the activation of the vitamin D, literally transforming it from its inactive form to its active form.  Vitamin D is crucial in the prevention of Osteoporosis when we get older. So, we should take advantage of the sunlight to help ensure our healthy bone maintenance.

Furthermore, vitamin D deficiency  may cause mood alterations, fatigue, depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (see below for reference).

Sunshine exposure and vitamin D


3 – Sunshine makes you happier!

It’s a tonic for your mood. Sunshine has been proved to have a powerful effect on our mental health and wellbeing, as it has been studied how it stimulates our body to produce serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that improves our mood and helps us stay calm and focused. It makes you feel less anxious and more emotionally stable, impacting our emotions as a natural mood stabiliser. Without enough sun exposure, your serotonin levels can dip. A lack of sun exposure can lead to mood alteration, and even to SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder (The most recognised form of depression linked to seasonality, that generally is perceived mainly during the winter season).

sunshine makes you happier
sunshine makes you happier


4 – Sunshine helps you reduce your stress level.

As we saw above, sun light influences the production of melatonin, and melatonin lowers stress reactivity enabling you to reduce your stress level. The sleep improvement caused by melatonin in the first place will surely play a further role in the stress reduction.

In addition, melatonin has a documented antioxidant action, hence helping our body fight the action of free radicals, and contrast the ageing process in the body.


Are you with me know? Enjoy sunshine responsibly (As we should do with everything, really), and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!



Images Credit: Pixabay



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