Louise Thompson: The importance of sunlight in winter
It’s less sunny in the winter (duh!) which has all sorts of impact on the delicately balanced circadian and ultradian biorhythms that govern our body’s performance and moods. Despite the very real impact of the seasons on our physiology, life does not stop — we continue our commitments and obligations with no adjustment. Our internal rhythms may change quite significantly yet we expect — of others and ourselves — to continue with the demands of life as if nothing is any different.
One of the biggies here is the amount of sunlight we get. Sunlight is very important, it is a significant provider of vitamin D in the body, as well as being involved in the regulation of serotonin (our happy hormone) and melatonin (our sleep-regulating hormone). Getting enough sunlight is crucial to our mood and sleep levels. If you think you might be suffering from a case of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) you should get yourself to your GP. A continually superlow mood in winter can require medical intervention.
Feeling a bit blue in the winter is a definite sign to try to get a bit more blue sky in your day. The obvious choice, if you can work your day around it, is to try to get a walk in at lunchtime. Go grab your sushi from the place four blocks away rather than downstairs so you can get in your 15 minutes of sunrays. Other options include checking out light boxes, lamps and alarm clocks that wake you with simulated natural sunlight. There are some excellent ones on the market. My preferred option for a sunshine injection, however, is obviously to get on a plane and head for the sun — if time and budget allow — and get in a winter sunshine break. For health reasons! What more excuse do you need? Get that bikini packed.
Life coach Louise Thompson helps people unlock their happiest and healthiest life. Find more at louisethompson.com