It is that time of year again! There are fewer hours of daylight and it is starting to get cooler (and colder) which makes it harder to gather the enthusiasm to walk, bike, run, kayak and any other activity that you do outside in the Summer and early Autumn. And if you work inside, your only chance to face the sun may be at lunch time.
Why is sunshine important?
Sunshine is a vitamin and our bodies are great big solar collectors. If we don’t get enough, our batteries run down and we just don’t have enough energy to get through the day. And no amount of sleep can make up for this lack of sunshine.
Every chemical reaction in our body needs energy to get started and the energy that starts every chemical reaction are electrons and photons – light! In fact our DNA absorbs, stores and produces light energy. And what happens when that natural source decreases or we are not able to be outside long enough to recharge our batteries? We will experience mal-illumination. Really! Think of it as a lack of lightness in all areas of your life. Your mood, body and spirit feel heavier and darker.
Vitamin Sunshine is also necessary in many ways for keeping us healthy. The sun stimulates production of beta-endorphins in our skin, giving us the well-known “runners high.” The sun also stimulates production of nitric oxide which helps to regulate and decrease blood pressure.
Another potential benefit which needs more investigation is the production of vitamin D-like photon products. There may be several of these products that appear to play a role in reducing skin cancer and enhancing overall skin health.
How can you tell if you are getting enough sunshine/full spectrum light?
This happened to me about twelve years ago. It was an especially cloudy and cold winter and although I was walking outside almost every day, by mid-February I was feeling tired most of the time. I was getting 9-10 hours of sleep every night and felt lack luster all day. What turned it around for me, was the lengthening days. By early summer, I felt my energetic and optimistic self again.
Up to one third of people in the United States experience a decrease in mood and energy during the Winter which can range from a mild case of Winter Blues to full blown SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). You can tell how much you are effected by the seasonal change in light by your symptoms.
One measure of how much full spectrum light you are getting is to test your Vitamin D3 level. If you are interested in knowing your level (home test) and would like to participate in a project to fund research about this essential vitamin, go to http://grassrootshealth.net/ and sign up. My test showed that, for now, my Vitamin D3 level is in the normal range. Starting out the Winter with a fully charged battery feels great!
What can you do to get more full spectrum light?
Here in Doylestown, PA we do not get enough light from November – February to recharge our batteries. Even if you were to sunbathe all day outside naked, the sun is just not strong enough.
For Vitamin D3 levels, it is suggested that you eat fresh foods and add a daily supplement. Renew is a really good supplement that contains the recommended daily amount of Vitamin D3 (2000IU) as well as a combination of foods that help to increase the number of adult stems cells in circulation by 85%. Check it out!
Many people find that full spectrum lights are helpful. Avoid the lights that use fluorescent bulbs. They flicker so fast that they disturb our body’s natural energy fields. Follow the manufacturers directions for the best results.
You may also want to take advantage of Quantum Pulse sessions that provide full spectrum light and only take a few minutes. I believe that the reason that I did not have the same energy problem the following Winter is because I started Quantum Pulse sessions.
OR you could just be a snow bird and go south for the Winter. Friends on the East coast go to Florida and my mom in Minnesota goes to California. They all love being able to continue their active lives in warm weather. And all say that they have just as many friends down South as they have back home.