• Mandi Franklin, CPNP

Sunshine=Happiness

Updated: Oct 16


The benefits of natural sunlight are endless. In the news, we are hearing a lot about how sunlight can help weaken or even kill COVID19. Although this is exciting and interesting news, this is NOT what today’s post is about.

This post is purely about HAPPINESS.

Have you ever realized that sunshine makes you and your kids a bit more cheerful?


Let me elaborate...


There was a research study performed in the UK where they had individuals walk outside and at an indoor shopping area. Those in the study were able to rate their feelings after walking inside and then outside. The results were as follows: “Improvements were greater when walking outdoors as compared to walking indoors (self-esteem: 90% vs. 17%, depression: 71% vs. 45%, and tension: 71% vs. 28%, respectively)” (Penckofer, Kouba, Byrn, & Ferrans, 2010).

Have you ever heard of endorphins? Natural sunlight exposure increases our blood level of endorphins, or our “feel good” hormone.


Sunshine is important from day one! It helps an infant become adjusted, establish a routine, and improve the day/night confusion. Read more (plus other newborn sleep tips) here.

Interestingly enough, natural sunlight may even help increase life expectancy. There was a study performed in Sweden monitoring 30,000 women over 20 years. Those with more sun exposure actually lived longer.

Now, before you go hop outside, remember sun exposure is linked to skin damage and skin cancer. So PLEASE wear your SPF and stay protected!

References:

Byrn, M., Ferrans, C.E., Kouba, J., & Penckofer, S. (2010).Vitamin D and Depression: Where is all the Sunshine? Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908269/

Epstein, E., Ingvar, C., Landin-Olsson, M., Lindqvist, P.G., Nielsen, K., & Olsson, H. (2016). Avoidance of sun exposure as a risk factor for major causes of death: a competing risk analysis of the Melanoma in Southern Sweden cohort. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26992108

Shmerling, R. (2016). Here’s something unexpected: Sunbathers live longer. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/heres-something-unexpected-sunbathers-live-longer-201606069738

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