Listen to Dr Priyanka Shekar

11th Apr 2023 • 03 Min and 43 Sec

Going out in the sun can improve skin problems, help enhance heart function and boost Vitamin D levels. It improves sleep by regulating melatonin and serotonin levels.


We are all mortal who wants to improve our health and well-being with simple things without any hassle, but what is the right advice? Is it getting enough sleep? Or is it not skipping breakfast? Or singing out loud? Welcome to the Optimists podcast, I’m Dr Priyanka, and this is “One Simple Thing.” Here you will learn just one thing to improve your health in ways you might not expect.

You can do something to lift your mood, lower your blood pressure and boost your immune system health. It’s not going for a run or hitting the gym. It’s sunbathing.

The golden warm, shiny rays have a lot of health benefits. Just 15 minutes of sunlight every day can improve skin conditions, help enhance heart function and boost your body’s Vitamin D levels.

Your body needs vitamin D to support healthy bones and manage calcium levels. It also helps reduce bodily inflammation and supports glucose metabolism. Sunlight is also known to support better sleep by regulating the levels of melatonin and serotonin in the body.

The vitamin D you get from the sun has a preventative effect on diabetes. Studies show that consumption of Vitamin D early in life would effectively lower the risk of type 1 diabetes.

 Research also shows that exposure to sunlight triggers the skin to release nitrogen oxide, which causes arteries to dilate and thus helps in lowering your blood pressure.

Mentally speaking, Being outside in the sunlight also helps your body regulate melatonin naturally, which helps lower stress levels. Studies have shown that sunshine improves your overall mood, and it also impacts your energy levels. Sunlight increases the level of serotonin in your body which is a chemical that enhances mood and helps you stay calm and focused.

It’s not just in your head; not being in the dark for too long and getting some sunlight now and then also helps fight depression and improves your mental well-being.

In fact, there’s something called bright light therapy (from a lightbox and the sun) that helps improve the symptoms of bipolar depression and ADHD. Light therapy has also helped people suffering from eating disorders. Research indicated that people with acute symptoms of schizophrenia have lower Vitamin D levels than people who don’t.

Sunlight is also found to increase your life expectancy. A Research conducted in Sweden among 30,000 women found that those who spent more time in the sunlight would live for more than two years longer than those who have not. Although more research has to be done in this area, the other benefits of sunlight are enough to get some sun every day.

So, now get out and get some sunlight for at least 10-20 minutes, either early in the morning or in the middle of the day. If you are a bit dark-skinned, get that sunlight for a few more minutes and get immensely benefitted.

So if this is not one thing you are already doing, then do give it a try! Your immune system, heart and even your mental health could benefit.

That’s one thing to include in your daily routine for improving your body and life. Join me next time on “One simple thing” for a better tomorrow.