In recent years, there’s been a huge crackdown on sun safety, with many people more conscious of time spent in the sun — and the impact it can have on their health — than ever. However, according to Dr. Clare Morrison, GP and medical advisor at Medexpress, spending too little time in the sun can also affect your health in a negative way. “A lack of sun exposure on a long-term basis can have detrimental effects our bodies,” Morrison told Metro. But what actually happens to your body if you don’t get enough sun?
“In short, a lack of vitamin D not only affects you physically but also mentally, without enough sun exposure, your serotonin levels can dip and low levels of serotonin are associated with a higher risk of major depression and SAD,” Morrison explained. Risks include “weak bones, foot deformities, some cancers, depression, skin problems, weight gain and cognitive issues,” she continued. Research from the University of Southampton (via BBC) backs up Morrison’s claims, revealing that too little sun, and ultimately vitamin D, can affect mood, energy, and even sleep.
Sunlight boosts mood and energy
Whether you’re purposefully avoiding the sun for safety reasons, or live in a city that experiences long, dark winters, it’s important to be aware that you need to expose your body to sunlight to a degree.
“The longer the period of sunlight, the longer the feeling of well-being generally. We have more energy, feel more active, more creative and happier,” Dr. Aarohee Desai-Gupta, a psychiatrist in Enfield from The Royal College of Psychiatrists, told BBC. For that reason, “ensuring you get enough vitamin D is crucial, even if this is in supplement form,” Morrison said. She adds that supplements can be particularly beneficial for people with darker skin. “You can also try and find a vitamin D serum oil for a topical skin application, this will help to give your skin direct contact with the vitamin which should help alleviate some skin conditions you may suffer with as a result of the lack of sun,” Morrison advised.
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