July 16, 2006

Sunlight and Darkness: Simple and Necessary

Your body needs complete darkness in order to produce melatonin, and even then, this will occur only after it has enjoyed some quality sunlight during the day. Melatonin is one of the most powerful antioxidants and has been found key to the prevention of certain cancers - including those attacking the breast and prostrate.

Even the tinest bit of light (a nightlight, a streetlight casting a glow through the window) will prevent melatonin production. Sleep in darkness - like everyone did until the last century or so.

As for sunshine, you need it. Not only do the UV rays lessen stress but sunlight acts to reduce blood pressure. Sunlight also acts to reduce death by Multiple Sclerosis by 76% as well as fighting against rheumatoid arthritis and tuberulosis. How? Sunlight causes your body to create Vitamin D, and this nutrient is very important for an effective immune system.

Bottom line: Get one hour of sunlight a day; you can set in the shade on a bright day and this will work. Sleep in total darkness for 8 hours. Simple, free, needed.

Sources: ThomasJeffersonUniversityStudy, Earthtimes.org, mercola.com, AmericanHeartAssociation, mercola.com [citing Lancet].


domestika said...

Absolutely true, we are totally governed by rhythms of light, and modern life has messed it up - as most Canadians are coming to understand - Up here, we simply just don't get enough hours of daylight up here in the winter, when you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark, and it's sometimes too darned cold to stay outdoors long on the weekends. I swear by a light-therapy lamp over my desk... ;-) Jen

Nicole Humphrey said...

That photo is beautiful and quite tranquil. Thank you for the awesome post! Your blog is great.

Andrew said...

It is difficult wihtout some concerted effort to sleep in total darkness. I sleep with the curtains closed but a little light creeps in through the curtains and cracks in the curtain. Regardless I do enjoy the darkness and the sunlight, especially running or playing a sport in the sun. Interesting post.

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