Tanning and sunbathing in many countries is a leisure activity, which is fully enjoyed by people of all ages. However, due to the sun being the core of this activity with several health risks, this activity receives intense anti-sun propaganda in our society.
While it is true that exposure to sun can lead to skin and health issues, it is only applicable when the exposure is too much for some types of skin.
Therefore, it all depends on the type of skin, how much one exposes, and how frequently one exposes.
Sunbathing; image source: mrwallpaper.com
Moderate exposure to sun at a healthy level is both indispensable and safe. If too much exposure can invite a bit increased cancer risk, the right amount of exposure can make the body absorb adequate amount of Vitamin D to alleviate the risk of several cancers. So, there are good effects of sunbathing, if done in the right way and in healthy frequency.
Here are the positive effects of sunbathing.
Regulates both Mood and Sleep: Heals Depression or Sleep Related Issues
It is a fact that sunlight has a deep impact on emotions and mood while reducing fatigue. Scientifically, it has been found that the UV rays boost the release of a neurotransmitter called serotonin in the brain, which is responsible for overall welfare.
This brain chemical influences body temperature and sleep. It quickly adjusts to the brain light’s intensity due to which depression risk gets uprooted. This is why in winter people prefer sunbathing to get rid of Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD).
Sunlight also influences another brain chemical called melatonin, which takes care of several functions including sleep. Unlike its high level at night, the low level in sunlight makes us more active.
Averts Prostate Cancer
It has been studied that too frequent over exposure to sun can invite prostate cancer. In Africa, this is sadly the most common cause of death (5% to 45% due to this cancer). However, according to a California university, the dearth of sunlight increases the risk of this cancer.
Slays Down Bacteria
This is the finding of a study conducted by a German soldier named Niels Finsen who got Nobel Prize for this breakthrough. According to him, sunlight is the natural remedy for healing wounds and sterilizing bacteria. This power of sunlight also helps in improving disorders such as fungal infections, acne, and psoriasis.
Keeps Tumors Away
Unlike the Nordic nations, the Mediterranean ones have a lower rate of colon and breast tumors. This is connected to the natural barrier of vitamin D that does not allow tumors. Even the latest studies support this hypothesis and also endorse sunlight as a protector of other tumors such as bladder, ovarian, stomach, and lymphomas. However, the study is still ongoing in this area.
Puts off Childhood Asthma
It has been found that low vitamin D level is linked to bronchial asthma or its more severe course. However, this is still not fully conclusive. Some studies endorse that consuming more supplements of vitamin D might alleviate the rate of asthma exacerbations.
Sunlight regulates the level of cortisol, a hormone responsible for stress and weight gain. According to the Colorado University, exposure to sunlight can reduce the level of this hormone.