Exposure to the Sun

       It’s nearing that time of the year when the temperature starts to rise, the sun is shining bright, and we all find our way outdoors again. Whether we are outside just to enjoy the fantastic weather or to work on our tan, there are a lot of health factors that we need to remember when it comes to dealing with this sun. While there certainly are many benefits that come with exposure to the sun, there are many risk factors that we have to be careful with as well.

       To Begin with, there are many benefits that can come with being out in the sun. One of these benefits is the ability to sleep better at night. Sunlight is shown to shut off your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone produced at night that makes you drowsy. This can help you to keep a better sleeping pattern when the night time comes. Natural sunlight is also shown to give a happier outlook on life. Experts actually now believe that sunlight has widespread mood-elevating effects due to the increase in serotonin. Another benefit of exposure to sunlight circulates around the fact that we get our Vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D has been linked to causing stronger bones, a boost in the immune system, lower blood pressure, better eye health, and a reduction in type 2 diabetes.

       While there are many benefits that come along with sunlight, it is important to remember that too much sun without sunscreen can be hazardous to our health as well. On top of the fact that the sun is already powerful, the ozone layer is depleting, allowing more harmful rays from the sun to reach our skin. Currently, skin cancer is at an all-time high due to more people wanting to sun bathe and get tan while less people are wearing sunscreen. In fact, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States with more than 3.5 million people diagnosed annually. While it is much less of a health concern, too much exposure to the sun has been shown to cause a large increase in wrinkles.

       I believe it can be taken away that we do in fact need the sun in our daily routine. There are many health benefits associated with exposure to sunlight. However, the research also shows how dangerous the sun can be if too many harmful rays are absorbed. From this information, we can conclude that while we need to go outside every day, it is important to put on sunscreen if exposed to the sun for a longer than normal period of time.

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