Updated: Dec 14, 2021
— New York, NY
During the winter months, the long and busy days are already stressful. Without boosted serotonin and Vitamin D levels, the lack of sunlight can be an unexpected but prominent factor in the way we feel. Improving production of Vitamin D and increasing exposure to sunlight can have a huge difference on everyday life during the darker months as well as a positive impact on physical well-being.
Vitamin D itself is produced when the body is exposed to sunlight. Too much sunlight can be harmful, but 10-15 minutes of sun exposure can help naturally produce more Vitamin D. This vitamin also regulates the function of the immune system, growth, and development of teeth and bones. Research indicates that Vitamin D may even be able to ward off depression and regulate mood. When the days are shorter and the sun is out for less and less time, it becomes harder for the body to produce the same amount of Vitamin D naturally.
The sun has varying benefits. Sunlight also releases nitric oxide into the blood, which brings down blood pressure and positively impacts heart health. Healthy blood pressure can reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease, as well as improving feelings of relaxation which can naturally bring down blood pressure.
In order to receive more Vitamin D, taking vitamin supplements when recommended by a doctor or purchasing a sunlamp that helps boost production are two good options. However, another simple way is to simply aim to be outside for 10-15 minutes a day, even if the weather is cloudy. While it is not guaranteed that these will reliably boost happiness or Vitamin D, there may be a noticeable difference in feelings and emotions during winter.