How Does Sunlight Affect Your Brain?
Sunlight can make you happier, restore your energy, and is important for your sleep rhythms. There’s a reason for that; sunlight causes a release of feel-good hormones guaranteed to lift your mood.
Sunlight Impacts Your Brain by Creating Serotonin
Both darkness and sunlight trigger the release of hormones, responsible for either helping you sleep or waking you up. At night, melatonin helps your body fall asleep. In the morning, your brain releases serotonin to wake you up. Studies show that workers with windows tended to sleep better and longer.
For many people, feeling awake, happy, and focused is as natural as…well, waking up. For others, suffering from disrupted serotonin levels, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) makes energy and happiness seem out of reach. For this group of people, SAD can be more than just a nuisance; it can affect every aspect of their lives.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a well-recognized mental health condition best treated by sunlight exposure.
What is Serotonin?
Serotonin is a chemical that sends signals between nerve cells. It’s produced by the cell itself and is found in blood platelets, the central nervous system, and the digestive system.
Considered a natural mood stabilizer, serotonin affects every aspect of your body from motor skills to your emotional wellbeing. It plays an important part in eating, digestion, physical healing, bone health, and the regulation of emotions.
Low levels of serotonin in the brain can increase anxiety, depression, and that groggy morning feeling as well as disrupt your sleep cycle.
Treating the Symptoms of Low Serotonin Levels
When SAD strikes, it can be devastating to someone’s normal levels of activity and wellbeing. Doctors recommend sunshine exposure in the treatment of this disruptive syndrome. Of course, the paradox in recommending sunlight as therapy for SAD is that this disorder occurs most around wintertime, and also when indoor light levels are low any time of year.
Lightbox therapy provides all of the benefits of sunlight in a more convenient and accessible form. The most effective boxes have an output of 10,000 lux and are used for 30 minutes per day from the fall and throughout early spring, usually in the morning. This light therapy stimulates the brain to produce serotonin, restoring your emotional balance.
See how much better you can feel with lightbox therapy. Browse SunBox’s large selection of 10,000 lux bright lights and take back your life.