Did you know spending quality time in the sun has its own ups as well as downs? Experiencing a happier mood, a better night’s sleep or a strange rash? The sun impacts you in many ways, far beyond just the sunburns.
Red and blotchy skin
Being exposed to the sun for years can result in your skin becoming blotchy and red, as explained by Jason Reichenberg, MD, associate professor at the University of Texas. As you gain more age, your skin becomes thinned by the sun and in the process the skin structure gets loose. The blood vessels also dilate and begin to develop red and brown areas.
As all this is taking place, your skin’s collagen spreads out such that blood vessels start appearing through the skin. The unfortunate part is that this condition cannot be reversed.
A sweet night sleep
A study done by the University of Colorado in 2013 found out that quality exposure to sunlight leads to a better sleep at night. The researchers found out that the sun regulates one’s internal biological clock and standardizes the sleep pattern. As per the study, a person’s sleep pattern is in sync with sunrise and sunset.
If you continue to get exposed to more sunlight, the body sets its internal clock such that it can align with the natural cycle. Doing so helps you get a solid night’s sleep.
Increase in the Vitamin D levels
It is widely known that young born babies should be exposed to the morning sun. Why? Their skins can use this sunlight to generate vitamin D.
That makes it no secret that one of the ways to load up vitamin D in your body is to spend quality time in the sun. But again health experts warn that too much exposure to the sun may turn out to be harmful instead of beneficial. Dr. Reichenberg explains that once the sun hits your skin, it converts pre-vitamin D to vitamin D. But some studies have shown that overexposure shifts this reaction into the other direction.
A sudden rash
For individuals suffering from polymorphic light eruption – a skin condition –a single step into the sun may lead to an abrupt and sometimes severe rash. The red, itchy reaction can break out anywhere from minutes to hours after sun exposure. Porphyria causes further advanced allergic reactions. This condition is usually due to either genetic mutation or liver problem and makes the skin to bubble when exposed to the sun. The good news is that this frustrating skin disease is a rare one.
Vision problem is one of the consequences that accompany aging. But studies done have shown that exposure to the sun can lead to the condition become even more severe, especially for people aged 40 and above. According to a 2011 study by researchers at Fordham University, the sun’s UV rays that are harmful to the skin are also harmful to the skin. If the case is more serious, one can get blind, the study authors say. The fortunate past is that sunglasses are good enough at fixing the issue.
A longer lifespan
The Karolinska University Hospital recently conducted a study which showed that avoiding the sun cuts down one’s lifespan. The study looked into 30, 000 Swedish women aged 20 and above. The finding was that for those who avoided the sun, their lifespan was reduced by 2.1 years compared to their counterparts. Women who had more sun exposure were at a lower risk for developing several diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and heart disease.