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Welcome to question of the day #341

Eyetool question of the day #341

I work in community practice as an eye specialist and have noticed that my mood is low and I feel anxious about things I shouldn’t really feel anxious about. Do you have any advice?

I’m not a medical doctor so you might want to consider consulting one to discuss your current state of mind.

However, I’ve noticed for me a link between the amount of time I spend outside during daylight hours and my mood. My mood is much better when I spend time in daylight.

As eye care specialists we spend a lot of our working lives inside and this makes us at risk of the negative effects of not getting enough daylight exposure.

 

We hear about the risks of getting too much sun and that sunburn and skin cancer are very real threats but there many positive effects of sun exposure. Being in sunlight can help your mind, bones, and more.

Increased vitamin D

Vitamin D reduces inflammation and helps cell growth. It’s also very hard to get enough from food sources alone. The sun is the best natural source of Vitamin D, and it only takes 5-15 minutes of sunlight a few times a week to notice a difference. Get outside and expose yourself to direct sun on your arms and face to soak up this necessary vitamin. Use sunscreen if outside for more than 15 minutes.

Better mood

Days with plenty of sunshine are associated with better mental health. Getting some sun increases serotonin and helps stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and sun exposure can also help with anxiety and depression, especially in combination with other treatments.

Higher quality sleep

Serotonin might also help get more restful sleep at night. Working with serotonin is melatonin, a chemical that prepares your body for sleep and one that the sun also helps produce. Stick to traditional light and dark cycles, getting sunlight during the day helps with sleeping at night.

Stronger bones

Low vitamin D has been linked to diseases like osteoporosis and rickets, and one of the most specific benefits of Vitamin D is stronger bones.

Lower blood pressure

Sunlight causes nitric oxide to be released into your blood; this brings down blood pressure and improves heart health. Boosting mood by soaking up rays also aids in keeping blood pressure down.

When I go to work by car I park further away from the practice than I need to so I am exposed to daylight for a little bit longer during my walk to the practice. I always go outside during my lunch break and then have more daylight on my walk back to the car during Spring, Summer, and Autumn months.

At the weekend I get outside as much as possible for sport or simply walking.

Daylight definitely helps me.