Did you know that sunlight is an effective remedy for depression? A serious mental health condition, depression affects millions of Americans each year. Symptoms of depression include severe mood swings, social isolation, self-harm, fatigue, insomnia, and depressive thoughts. It can also manifest into other negative responses of the mind and body. Here’s how sunlight helps in coping up with it.
- Sunlight regulates levels of Serotinin. Researchers have found that sunlight regulates the levels of serotonin in the body. Serotonin is a type of chemical that’s considered as a mood stabilizer, and its shortage can lead to depression. This chemical helps in keeping one calm and focused. Low levels of serotonin, which are caused due to lesser time in the sun, may also result in issues like Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a form of depression.
- It was found in a study that lower exposure to sunlight increased the probability of reduced cognitive functioning. Depression has an impact on cognitive functions, such as reasoning, memory, problem solving and decision making. Adequate exposure to sunlight can help in improving cognitive functions among patients of depression.
- Sunlight can also improve blood flow to the brain, which is associated with cognitive functioning. Inadequate cerebral blood flow can have a negative impact on cognitive functioning.
- Sunlight can help in maintaining regular sleep duration. Sleep deprivation can increase the risk of depression, as per the findings of a survey involving more than 20,000 adults. Sunlight has an important role in regulating the body’s natural biological clock. According to a study by Dr. Phyllis C. Zee, MD, PhD, sunlight exposure can be a contributing factor towards sound sleep.
In addition to getting adequate sunlight, there are several other ways to cope up with depression, such as exercising regularly and maintaining the right diet. Check out our slideshow article on 6 strategies for coping with depression to know more.